Amid Covid-19, U.S. Senate Talks Bitcoin, Ethereum ...

I’m one of the Senators attending today's U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing related to bitcoin. What would you like me to know?

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Canadian Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce - List of all hearings so far [x-post /r/bitcoin]

Canadian Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce - List of all hearings so far [x-post /bitcoin] submitted by SirSpock to BitcoinCA [link] [comments]

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs most of the experts explained that bitcoin payment network offers real benefits to the modern financial system, despite the fact that a new form of digital currency may be used as money

During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs most of the experts explained that bitcoin payment network offers real benefits to the modern financial system, despite the fact that a new form of digital currency may be used as money submitted by CoinTelegraph to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Don't forget about the 2nd Senate hearing, this time with the banking committee (X-post r/bitcoin)

Don't forget about the 2nd Senate hearing, this time with the banking committee (X-post bitcoin) submitted by deuteronpsi to litecoin [link] [comments]

r/Bitcoin: I’m one of the Senators attending today's U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing related to bitcoin. What would you like me to know? by /u/JerryMoran (51 mins. old)

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Meet Brock Pierce, the Presidential Candidate With Ties to Pedophiles Who Wants to End Human Trafficking

thedailybeast.com | Sep. 20, 2020.
The “Mighty Ducks” actor is running for president. He clears the air (sort of) to Tarpley Hitt about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein and more.
In the trailer for First Kid, the forgettable 1996 comedy about a Secret Service agent assigned to protect the president’s son, the title character, played by a teenage Brock Pierce, describes himself as “definitely the most powerful kid in the universe.” Now, the former child star is running to be the most powerful man in the world, as an Independent candidate for President of the United States.
Before First Kid, the Minnesota-born actor secured roles in a series of PG-rated comedies, playing a young Emilio Estevez in The Mighty Ducks, before graduating to smaller parts in movies like Problem Child 3: Junior in Love. When his screen time shrunk, Pierce retired from acting for a real executive role: co-founding the video production start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN) alongside businessman Marc Collins-Rector. At age 17, Pierce served as its vice president, taking in a base salary of $250,000.
DEN became “the poster child for dot-com excesses,” raising more than $60 million in seed investments and plotting a $75 million IPO. But it turned into a shorthand for something else when, in October of 1999, the three co-founders suddenly resigned. That month, a New Jersey man filed a lawsuit alleging Collins-Rector had molested him for three years beginning when he was 13 years old. The following summer, three teens filed a sexual-abuse lawsuit against Pierce, Collins-Rector, and their third co-founder, Chad Shackley. The plaintiffs later dropped their case against Pierce (he made a payment of $21,600 to one of their lawyers) and Shackley. But after a federal grand jury indicted Collins-Rector on criminal charges in 2000, the DEN founders left the country. When Interpol arrested them in 2002, they said they had confiscated “guns, machetes, and child pornography” from the trio’s beach villa in Spain.
While abroad, Pierce had pivoted to a new venture: Internet Gaming Entertainment, which sold virtual accessories in multiplayer online role-playing games to those desperate to pay, as one Wired reporter put it, “as much as $1,800 for an eight-piece suit of Skyshatter chain mail” rather than earn it in the games themselves. In 2005, a 25-year-old Pierce hired then-Goldman Sachs banker Steve Bannon—just before he would co-found Breitbart News. Two years later, after a World of Warcraft player sued the company for “diminishing” the fun of the game, Steve Bannon replaced Pierce as CEO.
Collins-Rector eventually pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. In the years that followed, Pierce waded into the gonzo economy of cryptocurrencies, where he overlapped more than once with Jeffrey Epstein, and counseled him on crypto. In that world, he founded Tether, a cryptocurrency that bills itself as a “stablecoin,” because its value is allegedly tied to the U.S. dollar, and the blockchain software company Block.one. Like his earlier businesses, Pierce’s crypto projects see-sawed between massive investments and curious deals. When Block.one announced a smart contract software called EOS.IO, the company raised $4 billion almost overnight, setting an all-time record before the product even launched. The Securities and Exchange Commission later fined the company $24 million for violating federal securities law. After John Oliver mocked the ordeal, calling Pierce a “sleepy, creepy cowboy,” Block.one fired him. Tether, meanwhile, is currently under investigation by the New York Attorney General for possible fraud.
On July 4, Pierce announced his candidacy for president. His campaign surrogates include a former Cambridge Analytica director and the singer Akon, who recently doubled down on developing an anonymously funded, $6 billion “Wakanda-like” metropolis in Senegal called Akon City. Pierce claims to be bipartisan, and from the 11 paragraphs on the “Policy” section of his website it can be hard to determine where he falls on the political spectrum. He supports legalizing marijuana and abolishing private prisons, but avoids the phrase “climate change.” He wants to end “human trafficking.” His proposal to end police brutality: body cams.
His political contributions tell a more one-sided story. Pierce’s sole Democratic contribution went to the short-lived congressional run of crypto candidate Brian Forde. The rest went to Republican campaigns like Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, John McCain, and the National Right to Life Political Action Committee. Last year alone, Pierce gave over $44,000 to the Republican National Committee and more than $55,000 to Trump’s re-election fund.
Pierce spoke to The Daily Beast from his tour bus and again over email. Those conversations have been combined and edited for clarity.
You’re announcing your presidential candidacy somewhat late, and historically, third-party candidates haven’t had the best luck with the executive office. If you don’t have a strong path to the White House, what do you want out of the race?
I announced on July 4, which I think is quite an auspicious date for an Independent candidate, hoping to bring independence to this country. There’s a lot of things that I can do. One is: I’m 39 years old. I turn 40 in November. So I’ve got time on my side. Whatever happens in this election cycle, I’m laying the groundwork for the future. The overall mission is to create a third major party—not another third party—a third major party in this country. I think that is what America needs most. George Washington in his closing address warned us about the threat of political parties. John Adams and the other founding fathers—their fear for our future was two political parties becoming dominant. And look at where we are. We were warned.
I believe, having studied systems, any time you have a system of two, what happens is those two things come together, like magnets. They come into collision, or they become polarized and become completely divided. I think we need to rise above partisan politics and find a path forward together. As Albert Einstein is quoted—I’m not sure the line came from him, but he’s quoted in many places—he said that the definition of insanity is making the same mistake or doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting a different result. [Ed. note: Einstein never said this.] It feels like that’s what our election cycle is like. Half the country feels like they won, half the country feels like they lost, at least if they voted or participated.
Obviously, there’s another late-comer to the presidential race, and that’s Kanye West. He’s received a lot of flak for his candidacy, as he’s openly admitted to trying to siphon votes away from Joe Biden to ensure a Trump victory. Is that something you’re hoping to avoid or is that what you’re going for as well?
Oh no. This is a very serious campaign. Our campaign is very serious. You’ll notice I don’t say anything negative about either of the two major political candidates, because I think that’s one of the problems with our political system, instead of people getting on stage, talking about their visionary ideas, inspiring people, informing and educating, talking about problems, mentioning problems, talking about solutions, constructive criticism. That’s why I refuse to run a negative campaign. I am definitely not a spoiler. I’m into data, right? I’m a technologist. I’ve got digital DNA. So does most of our campaign team. We’ve got our finger on the pulse.
Most of my major Democratic contacts are really happy to see that we’re running in a red state like Wyoming. Kanye West’s home state is Wyoming. He’s not on the ballot in Wyoming I could say, in part, because he didn’t have Akon on his team. But I could also say that he probably didn’t want to be on the ballot in Wyoming because it’s a red state. He doesn’t want to take additional points in a state where he’s only running against Trump. But we’re on the ballot in Wyoming, and since we’re on the ballot in Wyoming I think it’s safe—more than safe, I think it’s evident—that we are not here to run as a spoiler for the benefit of Donald Trump.
In running for president, you’ve opened yourself up to be scrutinized from every angle going back to the beginning of your career. I wanted to ask you about your time at the Digital Entertainment Network. Can you tell me a little bit about how you started there? You became a vice president as a teenager. What were your qualifications and what was your job exactly?
Well, I was the co-founder. A lot of it was my idea. I had an idea that people would use the internet to watch videos, and we create content for the internet. The idea was basically YouTube and Hulu and Netflix. Anyone that was around in the ‘90s and has been around digital media since then, they all credit us as the creators of basically those ideas. I was just getting a message from the creator of The Vandals, the punk rock band, right before you called. He’s like, “Brock, looks like we’re going to get the Guinness Book of World Records for having created the first streaming television show.”
We did a lot of that stuff. We had 30 television shows. We had the top most prestigious institutions in the world as investors. The biggest names. High-net-worth investors like Terry Semel, who’s chairman and CEO of Warner Brothers, and became the CEO of Yahoo. I did all sorts of things. I helped sell $150,000 worth of advertising contracts to the CEOs of Pepsi and everything else. I was the face of the company, meeting all the major banks and everything else, selling the vision of what the future was.
You moved in with Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley at a mansion in Encino. Was that the headquarters of the business?
All start-ups, they normally start out in your home. Because it’s just you. The company was first started out of Marc’s house, and it was probably there for the first two or three months, before the company got an office. That’s, like, how it is for all start-ups.
were later a co-defendant in the L.A. County case filed against Marc Collins-Rector for plying minors with alcohol and drugs, in order to facilitate sexual abuse. You were dropped from the case, but you settled with one of the men for $21,600. Can you explain that?
Okay, well, first of all, that’s not accurate. Two of the plaintiffs in that case asked me if I would be a plaintiff. Because I refused to be a part of the lawsuit, they chose to include me to discredit me, to make their case stronger. They also went and offered 50 percent of what they got to the house management—they went around and offered money to anyone to participate in this. They needed people to corroborate their story. Eventually, because I refused to participate in the lawsuit, they named me. Subsequently, all three of the plaintiffs apologized to me, in front of audiences, in front of many people, saying Brock never did anything. They dismissed their cases.
Remember, this is a civil thing. I’ve never been charged with a crime in my life. And the last plaintiff to have his case dismissed, he contacted his lawyer and said, “Dismiss this case against Brock. Brock never did anything. I just apologized. Dismiss his case.” And the lawyer said, “No. I won’t dismiss this case, I have all these out-of-pocket expenses, I refuse to file the paperwork unless you give me my out-of-pocket expenses.” And so the lawyer, I guess, had $21,000 in bills. So I paid his lawyer $21,000—not him, it was not a settlement. That was a payment to his lawyer for his out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket expenses so that he would file the paperwork to dismiss the case.
You’ve said the cases were unfounded, and the plaintiffs eventually apologized. But your boss, Marc Collins-Rector later pleaded guilty to eight charges of child enticement and registered as a sex offender. Were you aware of his behavior? How do you square the fact that later allegations proved to be true, but these ones were not?
Well, remember: I was 16 and 17 years old at the time? So, no. I don’t think Marc is the man they made him out to be. But Marc is not a person I would associate with today, and someone I haven’t associated with in a very long time. I was 16 and 17. I chose the wrong business partner. You live and you learn.
You’ve pointed out that you were underage when most of these allegations were said to take place. Did you ever feel like you were coerced or in over your head while working at DEN?
I mean, I was working 18 hours a day, doing things I’d never done before. It was business school. But I definitely learned a lot in building that company. We raised $88 million. We filed our [form] S-1 to go public. We were the hottest start-up in Los Angeles.
In 2000, you left the country with Marc Collins-Rector. Why did you leave? How did you spend those two years abroad?
I moved to Spain in 1999 for personal reasons. I spent those two years in Europe working on developing my businesses.
Interpol found you in 2002. The house where you were staying reportedly contained guns, machetes, and child pornography. Whose guns and child porn were those? Were you aware they were in the house, and how did those get there?
My lawyers have addressed this in 32 pages of documentation showing a complete absence of wrongdoing. Please refer to my webpage for more information.
[Ed. Note: The webpage does not mention guns, machetes, or child pornography. It does state:“It is true that when the local police arrested Collins-Rector in Spain in 2002 on an international warrant, Mr. Pierce was also taken into custody, but so was everyone at Collins-Rector’s house in Spain; and it is equally clear that Brock was promptly released, and no charges of any kind were ever filed against Brock concerning this matter.”]
What do you make of the allegations against Bryan Singer? [Ed. Note: Bryan Singer, a close friend of Collins-Rector, invested at least $50,000 in DEN. In an Atlantic article outlining Singer’s history of alleged sexual assault and statutory rape, one source claimed that at age 15, Collins-Rector abused him and introduced him to Singer, who then assaulted him in the DEN headquarters.]
I am aware of them and I support of all victims of sexual assault. I will let America’s justice system decide on Singer’s outcome.
In 2011, you spoke at the Mindshift conference supported by Jeffrey Epstein. At that point, he had already been convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor. Why did you agree to speak?
I had never heard of Jeffrey Epstein. His name was not on the website. I was asked to speak at a conference alongside Nobel Prize winners. It was not a cryptocurrency conference, it was filled with Nobel Prize winners. I was asked to speak alongside Nobel Prize winners on the future of money. I speak at conferences historically, two to three times a week. I was like, “Nobel Prize winners? Sounds great. I’ll happily talk about the future of money with them.” I had no idea who Jeffrey Epstein was. His name was not listed anywhere on the website. Had I known what I know now? I clearly would have never spoken there. But I spoke at a conference that he cosponsored.
What’s your connection to the Clinton Global Initiative? Did you hear about it through Jeffrey Epstein?
I joined the Clinton Global Initiative as a philanthropist in 2006 and was a member for one year. My involvement with the Initiative had no connection to Jeffrey Epstein whatsoever.
You’ve launched your campaign in Minnesota, where George Floyd was killed by a police officer. How do you feel about the civil uprising against police brutality?
I’m from Minnesota. Born and raised. We just had a press conference there, announcing that we’re on the ballot. Former U.S. Senator Dean Barkley was there. So that tells you, when former U.S. Senators are endorsing the candidate, right?
[Ed. note: Barkley was never elected to the United States Senate. In November of 2002, he was appointed by then Minnesota Governor Jesse Venture to fill the seat after Sen. Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash. Barkley’s term ended on Jan. 3, 2003—two months later.]
Yes, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. My vice-presidential running mate Karla Ballard and I, on our last trip to Minnesota together, went to visit the George Floyd Memorial. I believe in law and order. I believe that law and order is foundational to any functioning society. But there is no doubt in my mind that we need reform. These types of events—this is not an isolated incident. This has happened many times before. It’s time for change. We have a lot of detail around policy on this issue that we will be publishing next week. Not just high-level what we think, not just a summary, but detailed policy.
You said that you support “law and order.” What does that mean?
“Law and order” means creating a fair and just legal system where our number one priority is protecting the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for all people. This means reforming how our police intervene in emergency situations, abolishing private prisons that incentivize mass incarceration, and creating new educational and economic opportunities for our most vulnerable communities. I am dedicated to preventing crime by eliminating the socioeconomic conditions that encourage it.
I support accountability and transparency in government and law enforcement. Some of the key policies I support are requiring body-cams on all law enforcement officers who engage with the public, curtailing the 1033 program that provides local law enforcement agencies with access to military equipment, and abolishing private prisons. Rather than simply defund the police, my administration will take a holistic approach to heal and unite America by ending mass incarceration, police brutality, and racial injustice.
Did you attend any Black Lives Matter protests?
I support all movements aimed at ending racial injustice and inequality. I​ have not attended any Black Lives Matter protests.​ My running-mate, Karla Ballard, attended the March on Washington in support of racial justice and equality.
Your platform doesn’t mention the words “climate change.” Is there a reason for that?
I’m not sure what you mean. Our policy platform specifically references human-caused climate change and we have a plan to restabilize the climate, address environmental degradation, and ensure environmental sustainability.
[Ed. Note: As of writing the Pierce campaign’s policy platform does not specifically reference human-caused climate change.]
You’ve recently brought on Akon as a campaign surrogate. How did that happen? Tell me about that.
Akon and I have been friends for quite some time. I was one of the guys that taught him about Bitcoin. I helped make some videogames for him, I think in 2012. We were talking about Bitcoin, teaching him the ropes, back in 2013. And in 2014, we were both speaking at the Milken Global Conference, and I encouraged him to talk about how Bitcoin, Africa, changed the world. He became the biggest celebrity in the world, talking about Bitcoin at the time. I’m an adviser to his Akoin project, very interested in the work that he’s doing to build a city in Africa.
I think we need a government that’s of, for, and by the people. Akon has huge political aspirations. He obviously was a hugely successful artist. But he also discovered artists like Lady Gaga. So not only is he, himself, a great artist, but he’s also a great identifier and builder of other artists. And he’s been a great businessman, philanthropist. He’s pushing the limits of what can be done. We’re like-minded individuals in that regard. I think he’ll be running for political office one day, because he sees what I see: that we need real change, and we need a government that is of, for, and by the people.
You mentioned that you’re an adviser on Akoin. Do you have any financial investments in Akoin or Akon City?
I don’t believe so. I’d have to check. I have so much stuff. But I don’t believe that I have any economic interests in his stuff. I’d have to verify that. We’ll get back to you. I don’t believe that I have any economic interests. My interest is in helping him. He’s a visionary with big ideas that wants to help things in the world. If I can be of assistance in helping him make the world a better place, I’m all for it. I’m not motivated by money. I’m not running for office because I’m motivated by power. I’m running for office because I’m deeply, deeply concerned about our collective future.
You’ve said you’re running on a pro-technology platform. One week into your campaign last month, a New York appeals court approved the state Attorney General’s attempt to investigate the stablecoin Tether for potentially fraudulent activity. Do you think this will impact your ability to sell people on your tech entrepreneurship?
No, I think my role in Tether is as awesome as it gets. It was my idea. I put it together. But I’ve had no involvement in the company since 2015. I gave all of my equity to the other shareholders. I’ve had zero involvement in the company for almost six years. It was just my idea. I put the initial team together. But I think Tether is one of the most important innovations in the world, certainly. The idea is, I digitized the U.S. dollar. I used technology to digitize currency—existing currency. The U.S. dollar in particular. It’s doing $10 trillion a year. Ten trillion dollars a year of transactional volume. It’s probably the most important innovation in currency since the advent of fiat money. The people that took on the business and ran the business in years to come, they’ve done things I’m not proud of. I’m not sure they’ve done anything criminal. But they certainly did things differently than I would do. But it’s like, you have kids, they turn 18, they go out into the world, and sometimes you’re proud of the things they do, and sometimes you shake your head and go, “Ugh, why did you do that?” I have zero concerns as it relates to me personally. I wish they made better decisions.
What do you think the investigation will find?
I have no idea. The problem that was raised is that there was a $5 million loan between two entities and whether or not they had the right to do that, did they disclose it correctly. There’s been no accusations of, like, embezzlement or anything that bad.
[Ed. Note: The Attorney General’s press release on the investigation reads: “Our investigation has determined that the operators of the ‘Bitfinex’ trading platform, who also control the ‘tether’ virtual currency, have engaged in a cover-up to hide the apparent loss of $850 million dollars of co-mingled client and corporate funds.”]
But there’s been some disclosure things, that is the issue. No one is making any outrageous claims that these are people that have done a bunch of bad—well, on the internet, the media has said that the people behind the business may have been manipulating the price of Bitcoin, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the New York investigation. Again, I’m so not involved, and so not at risk, that I’m not even up to speed on the details.
[Ed note: A representative of the New York State Attorney General told Forbes that he “cannot confirm or deny that the investigation” includes Pierce.]
We’ve recently witnessed the rise of QAnon, the conspiracy theory that Hollywood is an evil cabal of Satanic pedophiles and Trump is the person waging war on them. You mentioned human trafficking, which has become a cause for them. What are your thoughts on that?
I’ve watched some of the content. I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. I’m an internet person, so Anonymous is obviously an organization that has been doing interesting stuff. It’s interesting. I don’t have a big—conspiracy theory stuff is—I guess I have a question for you: What do you think of all of it, since you’re the expert?
You know, I think it’s not true, but I’m not running for president. I do wonder what this politician [Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene], who’s just won her primary, is going to do on day one, once she finds out there’s no satanic cabal room.
Wait, someone was running for office and won on a QAnon platform, saying that Hollywood did—say what? You’re the expert here.
She won a primary. But I want to push on if we only have a few minutes. In 2006, your gaming company IGE brought on Steve Bannon as an investor. Goldman later bought out most of your stock. Bannon eventually replaced you as CEO of Affinity. You’ve described him as your “right-hand man for, like, seven years.” How well did you know Bannon during that time?
Yes, so this is in my mid-twenties. He wasn’t an investor. He worked for me. He was my banker. He worked for me for three years as my yield guide. And then he was my CEO running the company for another four years. So I haven’t worked with Steve for a decade or so. We worked in videogame stuff and banking. He was at Goldman Sachs. He was not in the political area at the time. But he was a pretty successful banker. He set up Goldman Sachs Los Angeles. So for me, I’d say he did a pretty good job.
During your business relationship, Steve Bannon founded Breitbart News, which has pretty consistently published racist material. How do you feel about Breitbart?
I had no involvement with Breitbart News. As for how I feel about such material, I’m not pleased by any form of hate-mongering. I strongly support the equality of all Americans.
Did you have qualms about Bannon’s role in the 2016 election?
Bannon’s role in the Trump campaign got me to pay closer attention to what he was doing but that’s about it. Whenever you find out that one of your former employees has taken on a role like that, you pay attention.
Bannon served on the board of Cambridge Analytica. A staffer on your campaign, Brittany Kaiser, also served as a business director for them. What are your thoughts on their use of illicitly-obtained Facebook data for campaign promotional material?
Yes, so this will be the last question I can answer because I’ve got to be off for this 5:00 pm. But Brittany Kaiser is a friend of mine. She was the whistleblower of Cambridge Analytica. She came to me and said, “What do I do?” And I said, “Tell the truth. The truth will set you free.”
[Ed. Note: Investigations in Cambridge Analytica took place as early as Nov. 2017, when a U.K. reporter at Channel 4 News recorded their CEO boasting about using “beautiful Ukranian girls” and offers of bribes to discredit political officials. The first whistleblower was Christopher Wylie, who disclosed a cache of documents to The Guardian, published on Mar. 17, 2018. Kaiser’s confession ran five days later, after the scandal made national news. Her association with Cambridge Analytica is not mentioned anywhere on Pierce’s campaign website.]
So I’m glad that people—I’m a supporter of whistleblowers, people that see injustice in the world and something not right happening, and who put themselves in harm’s way to stand up for what they believe in. So I stand up for Brittany Kaiser.
Who do you think [anonymous inventor of Bitcoin] Satoshi Nakamoto is?
We all are Satoshi Nakamoto.
You got married at Burning Man. Have you been attending virtual Burning Man?
I’m running a presidential campaign. So, while I was there in spirit, unfortunately my schedule did not permit me to attend.
OP note: please refer to the original article for reference links within text (as I've not added them here!)
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Complete Guide to All r/neoliberal Flair Personalities [J-L]

Please see the first post [A-I] for more info about this post. Unfortunately, post character limit is 40k, so I will have to break this into multiple posts linked here:

[A-I]

[J-L]

[M-P]

[Q-Z]


James Heckman
1944 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. Professor at the Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies. Director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD). Co-Director of Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) Global Working Group. Heckman is also a Professor of Law at ‘the Law School’, a senior research fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.
· In 2000, Heckman shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences with Daniel McFadden, for his pioneering work in econometrics and microeconomics.
· As of February 2019 (according to RePEc), he is the next most influential economist in the world behind Daniel McFadden.
· Heckman has received numerous awards for his work, including the John Bates Clark Medal of the American Economic Association in 1983, the 2005 and 2007 Dennis Aigner Award for Applied Econometrics from the Journal of Econometrics, the 2005 Jacob Mincer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Labor Economics, the 2005 Ulysses Medal from the University College Dublin, the 2007 Theodore W. Schultz Award from the American Agricultural Economics Association, the Gold Medal of the President of the Italian Republic awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzú Centre in 2008, the Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy for Children Award from the Society for Research in Child Development in 2009, the 2014 Frisch Medal from the Econometric Society, the 2014 Spirit of Erikson Award from the Erikson Institute, and the 2016 Dan David Prize for Combating Poverty from Tel Aviv University.
“The best way to improve the American workforce in the 21st century is to invest in early childhood education, to ensure that even the most disadvantaged children have the opportunity to succeed alongside their more advantaged peers”

Janet Yellen
1945 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· Successor to Ben Bernanke, serving as the Chair of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, and as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014, following her position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Yellen was also Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton.
· Yellen is a Keynesian economist and advocates the use of monetary policy in stabilizing economic activity over the business cycle. She believes in the modern version of the Phillips curve, which originally was an observation about an inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation. In her 2010 nomination hearing for Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Yellen said, “The modern version of the Phillips curve model—relating movements in inflation to the degree of slack in the economy—has solid theoretical and empirical support.”
· Yellen is married to George Akerlof, another notable economist, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate, professor at Georgetown University and the University of California, Berkeley..
· In 2014, Yellen was named by Forbes as the second most powerful woman in the world. She was the highest ranking American on the list. In October 2015, Bloomberg Markets ranked her first in their annual list of the 50 most influential economists and policymakers. In October 2015, Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute ranked Yellen #1 in the Public Investor 100 list. In October 2010, she received the Adam Smith Award from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE).
“In the long run, outsourcing is another form of trade that benefits the U.S. economy by giving us cheaper ways to do things.”
“I'm just opposed to a pure inflation-only mandate in which the only thing a central bank cares about is inflation and not unemployment.”

Jared Polis
1975 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· 43rd governor of Colorado since January 2019. Polis served on the Colorado State Board of Education from 2001 to 2007 and was the United States Representative for Colorado's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2019.
· Polis is the first openly gay person and second openly LGBT person (after Kate Brown of Oregon) to be elected governor in the United States.
· In 2000 Polis founded the Jared Polis Foundation, whose mission is to “create opportunities for success by supporting educators, increasing access to technology, and strengthening our community.” Polis has also founded two charter schools.
· Polis was named Outstanding Philanthropist for the 2006 National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. He has received many awards, including the Boulder Daily Camera's 2007 Pacesetter Award in Education; the Kauffman Foundation Community Award; the Denver consul general of Mexico “Ohtli”; the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Humanitarian Award; and the Anti-Defamation League's inaugural Boulder Community Builder Award.
“Having alternative currencies is great, right, because, historically, government's had a monopoly on currency. At the end of the day, why should only politicians—either directly or indirectly—control the currency? We can reduce transaction cost, provide an alternative, and—look, I don't know whether it'll be Bitcoin or not—but I think the concept of digital currencies is here to stay, and the fact that a politician would write to try to ban them in their infancy is just the wrong way to go about it. Let the market determine whether there's any value there or not.”

Jeff Bezos
1964 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· Best known as the founder, CEO, and president of Amazon, Bezos is an American internet and aerospace entrepreneur, media proprietor, and investor. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. In September 2018, Forbes described him as “far richer than anyone else on the planet” as he added $1.8 billion to his net worth when Amazon became the second company in history to reach a market cap of $1 trillion.
· Bezos supported the electoral campaigns of U.S. senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, two Democratic U.S. senators from Washington. He has also supported U.S. representative John Conyers, as well as Patrick Leahy and Spencer Abraham, U.S. senators serving on committees dealing with Internet-related issues.
· Bezos has supported the legalization of same-sex marriage, and in 2012 contributed $2.5 million to a group supporting a yes vote on Washington Referendum 74, which affirmed same-sex marriage.
· After the 2016 presidential election, Bezos was invited to join Donald Trump's Defense Innovation Advisory Board, an advisory council to improve the technology used by the Defense Department. Bezos declined the offer without further comment.
· In September 2018, Business Insider reported that Bezos was the only one of the top five billionaires in the world who had not signed the Giving Pledge, an initiative created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett that encourage wealthy people to give away their wealth.
“Percentage margins don't matter. What matters always is dollar margins: the actual dollar amount. Companies are valued not on their percentage margins, but on how many dollars they actually make, and a multiple of that.”
“We have the resources to build room for a trillion humans in this solar system, and when we have a trillion humans, we'll have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts. It will be a way more interesting place to live.”

Jens Weidmann
1968 – Present Born: Germany Resides: Germany
· German economist and president of the Deutsche Bundesbank. Chairman of the Board of the Bank for International Settlements. From 1997 to 1999, Weidmann worked at the International Monetary Fund. In 2006, he began serving as Head of Division IV (Economic and Financial Policy) in the Federal Chancellery. He was the chief negotiator of the Federal Republic of Germany for both the summits of the G8 and the G20. He was given the 2016 Medal for Extraordinary Merits for Bavaria in a United Europe.
· Weidmann was involved in a series of major decisions in response to the financial crisis in Germany and Europe: preventing the meltdown of the bank Hypo Real Estate, guaranteeing German deposits and implementing a rescue programme for the banking system, piecing together two fiscal-stimulus programmes, and setting up the Greek bail-out package and the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
· In a 2011 speech, Weidmann criticized the errors and “many years of wrong developments” of the European Monetary Union (EMU) peripheral states, particularly the wasted opportunity represented by their “disproportionate investment in private home-building, high government spending or private consumption”. In May, 2012, Weidmann's stance was characterized by US economist and columnist Paul Krugman as amounting to wanting to destroy the Euro. In 2016, Weidmann dismissed deflation in light of the European Central Bank's current stimulus program, pointing out the healthy condition of the German economy and that the euro area is not that bad off.
“I share the concerns regarding monetary policy that is too loose for too long. … As you know I have concerns about granting emergency liquidity on account of the fact that the banks are not doing everything to improve their liquidity situation.”

Jerome Powell
1953 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· Current Chair of the Federal Reserve, nominated by Trump. Powell has faced substantial and repeated criticism from Trump after his confirmation. The Senate Banking Committee approved Powell's nomination in a 22–1 vote, with Senator Elizabeth Warren casting the lone dissenting vote.
· Powell briefly served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance under George H. W. Bush in 1992. He has served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012. He is the first Chair of the Federal Reserve since 1987 not to hold a Ph.D. degree in Economics.
· Powell has described the Fed's role as nonpartisan and apolitical. Trump has criticized Powell for not massively lowering federal interest rates and instituting quantitative easing.
· The Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer rated Powell as neutral (not dove nor hawk). Powell has been a skeptic of round 3 of quantitative easing, initiated in 2012, although he did vote in favor of implementation.
· Powell stated that higher capital and liquidity requirements and stress tests have made the financial system safer and must be preserved. However, he also stated that the Volcker Rule should be re-written to exclude smaller banks. Powell supports ample amounts of private capital to support housing finance activities.
“The Fed's organization reflects a long-standing desire in American history to ensure that power over our nation's monetary policy and financial system is not concentrated in a few hands, whether in Washington or in high finance or in any single group or constituency.”

John Cochrane
1957 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and economist, specializing in financial economics and macroeconomics.
· The central idea of Cochrane's research is that macroeconomics and finance should be linked, and a comprehensive theory needs to explain both 1.) how, given the observed prices and financial returns, households and firms decide on consumption, investment, and financing; and 2.) how, in equilibrium, prices and financial returns are determined by households and firms decisions.
· Cochrane is the author of ‘Asset Pricing,’ a widely used textbook in graduate courses on asset pricing. According to his own words, the organizing principle of the book is that everything can be traced back to specializations of a single equation: the basic pricing equation. Cochrane received the TIAA-CREF Institute Paul A. Samuelson Award for this book.
“Regulators and politicians aren’t nitwits. The libertarian argument that regulation is so dumb — which it surely is — misses the point that it is enacted by really smart people. The fact that the regulatory state is an ideal tool for the entrenchment of political power was surely not missed by its architects.”

John Keynes (John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes)
1883 – 1946 Born: England Died: England
· British economist, whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. Originally trained in mathematics, he built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots. Keynes was a lifelong member of the Liberal Party, which until the 1920s had been one of the two main political parties in the United Kingdom.
· During the 1930s Great Depression, Keynes challenged the ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. He argued that aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Keynes advocated the use of fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions.
· Keynes's influence started to wane in the 1970s, his ideas challenged by those who disputed the ability of government to favorably regulate the business cycle with fiscal policy. However, the advent of the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 sparked a resurgence in Keynesian thought. Keynesian economics provided the theoretical underpinning for economic policies undertaken in response to the crisis by President Barack Obama of the United States, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and other heads of governments.
· Keynes was vice-chairman of the Marie Stopes Society which provided birth control education and campaigned against job discrimination against women and unequal pay. He was an outspoken critic of laws against homosexuality. Keynes thought that the pursuit of money for its own sake was a pathological condition, and that the proper aim of work is to provide leisure. He wanted shorter working hours and longer holidays for all. Keynes was ultimately a successful investor, building up a private fortune.
“How can I accept the Communist doctrine, which sets up as its bible, above and beyond criticism, an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world? How can I adopt a creed which, preferring the mud to the fish, exalts the boorish proletariat above the bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, who with all their faults, are the quality of life and surely carry the seeds of all human achievement? Even if we need a religion, how can we find it in the turbid rubbish of the red bookshop? It is hard for an educated, decent, intelligent son of Western Europe to find his ideals here, unless he has first suffered some strange and horrid process of conversion which has changed all his values.”

John Locke
1632 – 1704 Born: England Died: England
· Known as the “Father of Liberalism,” Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.
· Locke's political theory was founded on social contract theory. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority (of the ruler, or to the decision of a majority) in exchange for protection of their remaining rights or maintenance of the social order.
· Locke advocated for governmental separation of powers and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. Locke was vehemently opposed to slavery, calling it “vile and miserable … directly opposite to the generous Temper and Courage of our Nation.”
· Locke uses the word “property” in both broad and narrow senses. In a broad sense, it covers a wide range of human interests and aspirations; more narrowly, it refers to material goods. He argues that property is a natural right and it is derived from labour aand that the individual ownership of goods and property is justified by the labour exerted to produce those goods
· According to Locke, unused property is wasteful and an offence against nature, but, with the introduction of “durable” goods, men could exchange their excessive perishable goods for goods that would last longer and thus not offend the natural law. In his view, the introduction of money marks the culmination of this process, making possible the unlimited accumulation of property without causing waste through spoilage.
“The power of the legislative, being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.”
“No man in civil society can be exempted from the laws of it: for if any man may do what he thinks fit, and there be no appeal on earth, for redress or security against any harm he shall do; I ask, whether he be not perfectly still in the state of nature, and so can be no part or member of that civil society; unless any one will say, the state of nature and civil society are one and the same thing, which I have never yet found any one so great a patron of anarchy as to affirm.”

John Mill (John Stuart Mill a.k.a. J. S. Mill)
1806 – 1873 Born: England Died: France
· John Stuart Mill was arguably the most influential English speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook. In doing so, he sought to combine the best of eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking with newly emerging currents of nineteenth-century Romantic and historical philosophy. His most important works include System of Logic (1843), On Liberty (1859), Utilitarianism (1861) and An Examination of Sir William Hamilton’s Philosophy (1865).
· Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control. A member of the Liberal Party and author of the early feminist work The Subjection of Women (in which he also condemned slavery), he was also the second Member of Parliament to call for women's suffrage after Henry Hunt in 1832.
· Mill, an employee for the British East India Company from 1823 to 1858, argued in support of what he called a “benevolent despotism” with regard to the colonies. Mill argued that “To suppose that the same international customs, and the same rules of international morality, can obtain between one civilized nation and another, and between civilized nations and barbarians, is a grave error. ... To characterize any conduct whatever towards a barbarous people as a violation of the law of nations, only shows that he who so speaks has never considered the subject.”
· John Stuart Mill believed in the philosophy of Utilitarianism, which he described as the principle that holds “that actions are right in the proportion as they tend to promote happiness [intended pleasure, and the absence of pain], wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness [pain, and the privation of pleasure].” Mill asserts that even when we value virtues for selfish reasons we are in fact cherishing them as a part of our happiness.
· Mill's early economic philosophy was one of free markets. However, he accepted interventions in the economy, such as a tax on alcohol, if there were sufficient utilitarian grounds. Mill originally believed that “equality of taxation” meant “equality of sacrifice” and that progressive taxation penalized those who worked harder and saved more. Given an equal tax rate regardless of income, Mill agreed that inheritance should be taxed.
· His main objection of socialism was on that of what he saw its destruction of competition. According to Mill, a socialist society would only be attainable through the provision of basic education for all, promoting economic democracy instead of capitalism, in the manner of substituting capitalist businesses with worker cooperatives.
· Mill's major work on political democracy defends two fundamental principles at slight odds with each other: extensive participation by citizens and enlightened competence of rulers. He believed that the incompetence of the masses could eventually be overcome if they were given a chance to take part in politics, especially at the local level.
· Mill is one of the few political philosophers ever to serve in government as an elected official. In his three years in Parliament, he was more willing to compromise than the “radical” principles expressed in his writing would lead one to expect.
“He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion... Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them...he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”

John Rawls
1921 – 2002 Born: United States Died: United States
· Liberal American moral and political philosopher who received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, who acclaimed Rawls for having “helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.” He is frequently cited by the courts of law in the United States and Canada.
· Rawls's most discussed work is his theory of a just liberal society, called justice as fairness. Rawls first wrote about this theory in his book A Theory of Justice. Rawls spoke much about the desire for a well-ordered society; a society of free and equal persons cooperating on fair terms of social cooperation.
· Rawls’s most important principle (the Liberty Principal) states that every individual has an equal right to basic liberties. Rawls believes that “personal property” constitutes a basic liberty, but an absolute right to unlimited private property is not.
· Rawls's argument for his principles of social justice uses a thought experiment called the “original position”, in which people select what kind of society they would choose to live under if they did not know which social position they would personally occupy.
“Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.”

Joseph Nye
1937 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· American political scientist and co-founder of the international relations theory of neoliberalism (a theory concerned first and foremost with absolute gains rather than relative gains to other states), developed in the 1977 book Power and Interdependence. He is noted for his notion of “smart power” (“the ability to combine hard and soft power into a successful strategy”), which became a popular phrase with the Clinton and Obama Administrations.
· Secretary of State John Kerry appointed Nye to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board in 2014. In 2014, Nye was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of his “contribution to the development of studies on Japan-U.S. security and to the promotion of the mutual understanding between Japan and the United States.”
· From 1977 to 1979, Nye was Deputy to the Undersecretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology and chaired the National Security Council Group on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In recognition of his service, he was awarded the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award in 1979. In 1993 and 1994, he was Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates intelligence estimates for the President, and was awarded the Intelligence Community's Distinguished Service Medal. In the Clinton Administration from 1994 to 1995, Nye served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, and was awarded the Department's Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. Nye was considered by many to be the preferred choice for National Security Advisor in the 2004 presidential campaign of John Kerry.
· Nye has been a member of the Harvard faculty since 1964. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a foreign fellow of The British Academy. Nye is also a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. The 2011 TRIP survey of over 1700 international relations scholars ranks Joe Nye as the sixth most influential scholar in the field of international relations in the past twenty years. He was also ranked as most influential in American foreign policy. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named him to its list of top global thinkers. In September 2014, Foreign Policy reported that the international relations scholars and policymakers both ranked Nye as one of the most influential scholars.
“When you can get others to admire your ideals and to want what you want, you do not have to spend as much on sticks and carrots to move them in your direction. Seduction is always more effective than coercion, and many values like democracy, human rights, and individual opportunities are deeply seductive.”

Karl Popper
1902 – 1994 Born: Austria-Hungary Died: England
· Karl Popper is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. He was a self-professed critical-rationalist, a dedicated opponent of all forms of scepticism, conventionalism, and relativism in science and in human affairs generally and a committed advocate and staunch defender of the ‘Open Society’.
· In ‘The Open Society and Its Enemies’ and ‘The Poverty of Historicism’, Popper developed a critique of historicism and a defense of the “Open Society”. Popper considered historicism to be the theory that history develops inexorably and necessarily according to knowable general laws towards a determinate end. He argued that this view is the principal theoretical presupposition underpinning most forms of authoritarianism and totalitarianism. He argued that historicism is founded upon mistaken assumptions regarding the nature of scientific law and prediction. Since the growth of human knowledge is a causal factor in the evolution of human history, and since “no society can predict, scientifically, its own future states of knowledge”, it follows, he argued, that there can be no predictive science of human history. For Popper, metaphysical and historical indeterminism go hand in hand.
· Popper is known for his vigorous defense of liberal democracy and the principles of social criticism that he believed made a flourishing open society possible. His political philosophy embraced ideas from major democratic political ideologies, including socialism/social democracy, libertarianism/classical liberalism and conservatism, and attempted to reconcile them.
“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

Lawrence Summers
1954 – Present Born: United States Resides: United States
· American economist, former Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist of the World Bank, senior U.S. Treasury Department official throughout President Clinton's administration, Treasury Secretary 1999–2001, and former director of the National Economic Council for President Obama (2009–2010). Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Current professor and director of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
· As a researcher, Summers has made important contributions in many areas of economics, primarily public finance, labor economics, financial economics, and macroeconomics. Summers has also worked in international economics, economic demography, economic history and development economics.[ He received the John Bates Clark Medal in 1993 from the American Economic Association. In 1987, he was the first social scientist to win the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. Summers is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
· In 1983, at age 28, Summers became one of the youngest tenured professors in Harvard's history. In 2006, Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty. Summers viewed his beliefs on why science and engineering had an under-representation of women to be a large part in the vote, saying, “There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.”
· As the World Bank's Vice President of Development Economics and Chief Economist, Summers played a role in designing strategies to aid developing countries, worked on the bank's loan committee, guided the bank's research and statistics operations, and guided external training programs. The World Bank's official site reports that Summer's research included an “influential” report that demonstrated a very high return from investments in educating girls in developing nations. According to The Economist, Summers was “often at the centre of heated debates” about economic policy, to an extent exceptional for the history of the World Bank in recent decades.
· In 1999 Summers endorsed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act which removed the separation between investment and commercial banks. In February 2009, Summers quoted John Maynard Keynes, saying “When circumstances change, I change my opinion”, reflecting both on the failures of Wall Street deregulation and his new leadership role in the government bailout.
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Congressional activity: week of 7/29 to 8/2

Good Sunday, and welcome to this (late) installment of Congressional activity and financial markets. The general idea is that the statements and actions of federal legislators can have an effect on broader markets. I try to provide interesting happenings as well as participants. I don't suggest any specific positions: I'd like those to come from consensus in the discussion.
A few things to keep in mind:
Results from last week:
Shared activity (across both chambers):
None, explicitly. The House has gone on one of its many annual six-week vacations (https://thehill.com/homenews/house/454817-house-leaves-for-six-week-august-recess), which makes this post shorter than usual. But the main thing the House did was pass a budget bill (https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-passes-trumps-bipartisan-deal-lift-budget-spending/story?id=64573914) before leaving. The bill does a number of things: it ends sequestration, which was the mandatory cutting of certain discretionary spending if budget deadlines were not met. More importantly, it suspends the debt ceiling for two years (until after the 2020 presidential election), which takes the pressure of another shutdown off the table (remember when that happened?) and punts until the next election. The Senate should pick it up sometime this week---again, it's basically impossible to predict when---which should ease fiscal pressure (except the debt) for the foreseeable future.
House activity:
The House is in recess until early September. Of course, they can call themselves out of recess any time they like. But this is rare.
Senate activity:
The Senate is expected to vote some time on the bipartisan budget bill outlined above.
The Senate is expected to hold a veto-override vote on S J Res 36, S J Res 37, and S J Res 38, which are variants of Congressional prohibitions on arms sales to other countries, particularly Saudi Arabia. The president's veto messages on each outlined the security interest in placating Saudi Arabia (https://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/8-news/18994-s-j-res-36-s-j-res-37-s-j-res-38-veto-messages.html). The interesting thing will be how many Republicans, especially in the Senate, vote to override the veto. For instance, the original vote on S J Res 36 was 53-45, with zero Democrats voting against (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/36/all-actions?overview=closed&q=%7B%22roll-call-vote%22%3A%22all%22%7D). Lindsay Graham was one of the Republicans to vote for the resolution, which is unexpected.
The reason this matters is it will serve as a thermometer for further action against the president in ... other areas ... in the Senate. Impeachment, as you all know, is a two-step process. The House can bring articles of impeachment all on its own with a majority. In the past, bringing these articles has exerted a ton of political pressure, especially on presidents (which is why Nixon resigned). But in the present, those articles would go to the Senate, who would then have to actually try the articles in a sort of trial, with the Chief Justice presiding. The Senate is controlled by Republicans, and Mitch McConnell has said repeatedly that impeachment articles would be dead-on-arrival (https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/445512-senate-gop-pledges-to-quickly-quash-any-trump-impeachment-charges). For impeachment to be successful in the Senate, it would require a <2/3> majority, or a lot of Republicans voting against the president. Overriding any of S J Res 36, 37, or 38 would also require a 2/3 majority, and the similar yardsticks are why people will be paying some attention.
The Senate will hold full committee hearings on 7/30 on regulatory frameworks for blockchain technologies (https://www.banking.senate.gov/hearings/examining-regulatory-frameworks-for-digital-currencies-and-blockchain). In theory, if you had cryptocurrency holdings, this might affect those holdings directly. But Senators are simple-minded folk, and they for sure don't understand the implications of cryptocurrency. Instead, I'm guessing that most of them will rail on Facebook and corporations, and you'll hear the names Bitcoin and Libra way more than anything else.
The Senate will hold full committee hearings on 7/30 on the USMCA (https://www.finance.senate.gov/hearings/the-united-states-mexico-canada-agreement). The witness list is all over: dairy farmers, jewelry makers, automotive trade reps. My guess is that completing the deal would be good.
The Senate will hold full committee hearings on 7/31 on positive train control (https://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=4D197EB1-ADA7-402A-8F12-A87FF4B1682F https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_train_control). Look: not much is going on in Congress this week. But positive train control includes a bunch of regulations on trains taking turns and crew sleep and a bunch of other safety stuff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_train_control). The sole interesting thing is that PTC is expected to cost between $6-$20 billion, with most of the cost borne by train operators. If the (Republican, anti-regulatory) Senate guides toward easing the regulatory burden, it could lift a crosswind on the industry.
submitted by NonExpert_NotAdvice to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

What A Day: D'oh Biden by Brian Beutler, Priyanka Aribindi & Crooked Media (06/19/19)

"I was talking about farting"—Presidential candidate/world’s most awkward person John Hickenlooper

Bidenfreude

Joe Biden told an audience of donors in New York City that his tax policies wouldn’t “fundamentally change” things, including their quality of life, and waxed nostalgic about his working relationships with segregationists when he was a young senator. Guuuulp.
It has not gone over well! Here’s the full rundown.
Biden has been campaigning on his ability to reach consensus with Republicans. As evidence of this, he cited his relationships with now-deceased Sens. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA). Biden said Eastland “never called me ‘boy,’ he always called me ‘son,’” and called Talmadge “one of the meanest guys I ever knew,” but added, “at least there was some civility. We got things done.”
Some problems with this!
Several Democratic presidential candidates have condemned Biden’s comments, including Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and Bill de Blasio.
Biden went on to assure his donors that they won’t assume much financial risk by supporting him. “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change,” he said. But, “when we have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution.”
Some problems with this!
There unfortunately aren’t many generous ways to interpret these comments. They have raised concerns across the party about what kind of nominee and president Biden would be, and so far he hasn’t sought to explain himself or walk the comments back. The good news: he’ll almost certainly face questions about them at next week’s debate. popcorn-eating.gif

Under the Radar

The number of refugees—people who’ve been forced to flee violence or persecution—has reached an all-time high of nearly 71 million people worldwide, and includes an estimated 13.6 million people who became refugees in the last year alone, according to the United Nations. Most of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia, and the greatest number of refugees live in Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, and Germany, respectively.
While presenting the report, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees criticized “inward looking,” wealthy countries, many of which have sought to close their borders to these displaced peoples. That includes, um, us.

What Else

Trump administration officials have tried to convince Congress that Iran has ties to al Qaeda, suggesting the White House may try to use a post-9/11 war authorization as a legal justification for attacking Iran over Congress’s objections. There’s every reason to be skeptical of the administration’s claims, and House Democrats underscored their skepticism by voting to repeal that authorization.
At a House subcommittee hearing on reparations, the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates called on Congress to “reject fair-weather patriotism, to say that a nation is both its credits and its debits,” and to create a commission to study ways the U.S. government can make amends for slavery and its legacy. Coates also rebutted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who expressed his opposition to reparations on Capitol Hill this Tuesday.
President Trump’s former Communications Director Hope Hicks stonewalled Democrats during a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday because White House lawyers barred her from answering any questions about her time in the White House. Hey Democrats: instead of hearings nobody can watch with witnesses you won’t force to testify, have you considered the opposite?
Speaking of which, House Democrats may have finally run out of patience with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s reluctance to testify, but they still haven’t subpoenaed him. Reminder, again: Republicans hauled former FBI Director Jim Comey up to the Hill within two days of his decision to close the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And you might have noticed Republicans are pretty good at this “winning elections” thing.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged today, resisting extraordinary and improper pressure from President Trump, who has suggested he might demote Fed Chair Jerome Powell, even though he does not have the legal authority to do so.
International prosecutors indicted three men with ties to Russian intelligence and implicated a senior aide to Vladimir Putin for shooting a missile at Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
The British research submarine Boaty McBoatface (this is what happens when you let the internet name things) discovered a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures. As the winds have grown stronger because of greenhouse gas buildup and the destruction of the ozone layer, they have caused more turbulence in waters, resulting in rising sea temperatures and sea levels. Not bad, Boaty. But, you know, bad in every other way.
Trans author, activist, and television producer Janet Mock signed a multimillion dollar deal with Netflix to write, direct, and executive produce projects that tell stories about underrepresented people. She is the first out trans woman of color to score a deal like this with a major studio.

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Did You See That Thing?

Facebook confirmed this week that it has spent the past year working with 27 nonprofit, tech, and finance partners to create a cryptocurrency called “Libra.” Despite its classification as a cryptocurrency, Libra would be very different than Bitcoin. Facebook imagines it as a “new global currency standard” that’s stable, guaranteed by tangible assets, and part of a larger program that will be able to perform all the functions of a traditional bank (think accounts, loans, ATMs, etc.).
Facebook claims it wants to offer the service to benefit the developing world, and its 1.7 billion adults who don’t have access to banking. This, however, is the same logic it used to promote its plan to offer free internet around the world—a plan that came under fire for attempting to make developing countries dependent on Facebook for access to the internet. On top of that, Facebook’s laundry list of privacy scandals, the rampant misinformation on its platform, and the way it’s been used to subvert elections have naturally made people skeptical that the company should be entrusted with vulnerable people’s money. OTOH maybe we should just blindly trust Zuck again for the 40,000th time.

Is That Hope I Feel?

New York lawmakers have agreed to one of the most ambitious climate plans in the world. The legislation, called the “Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act,” calls for the state to eliminate almost all greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of making the state's economy carbon-free by 2050. Currently, New York sources only 60 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources.

Enjoy

Kelly Weill on Twitter: ""my wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife""
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]

Us Senate Bill S.1241 to criminalize concealed ownership of Bitcoin

On November 28, 2017, the US Senate, Committee of the Judiciary held a hearing regarding bill S.1241: Modernizing AML Laws to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Despite little attention being given to digital currencies during the hearing, bill S.1241 itself would amend the definition of ‘financial institution’ in the United States Code to include digital currencies and digital exchanges. This could have alarming consequences for users of cryptocurrencies both in the US and abroad.
Bill S.1241 would amend the definition of ‘financial institution,’ in Section 5312(a) of title 31, United States Code, to include “an issuer, redeemer, or cashier of prepaid access devices, digital currency, or any digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency.” Currently, the definition of ‘financial institution’ includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, currency exchanges, etc.
In her introduction, Mrs. Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, said (31:35), “The bill criminalizes intentionally concealing ownership or control of a bank account.” Although, during the hearing, no further clarifications were given as to the effects this would have on the cryptocurrency community, based on the amended definition of ‘financial institution’, it seems clear enough that the bill would “criminalize [those] intentionally concealing ownership or control of a [digital currency or digital exchange] account.” Wow. Let this sink in for a minute…
The US senate is proposing a bill to make criminals out of anyone intentionally concealing ownership or control of a digital currency or digital exchange account. What’s more, according to the hearing’s prolonged discussion of US law enforcement’s handling of foreign banks and financial institutions, this bill is certain to have far-reaching effects on not only US citizens but the global community as a whole.
If the above statement describes you, it is strongly recommended that you watch the hearing with this new definition of ‘financial institution’ in mind. If you’ve already watched the hearing, watch it again, but this time replace all mentions of ‘banks and financial institutions’ with ‘digital currencies and digital exchanges.’ The implications are really rather alarming.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Kathryn Haun Rodriguez, a Coinbase Board of Directors Member, made absolutely no mention of digital currencies or digital exchanges in her testimony; nor was she asked any questions pertaining to these topics.
Conversely, in her July 2017 written testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, she stated that some users of digital currencies use them “to conceal and move illicit proceeds because of the perception that virtual currency is untraceable.”
Also in her prior written testimony, she stated that “the FinTech industry could be a very helpful partner to the government in addressing national security concerns;” that “investigators like digital footprints and that is exactly what digital currencies provide;” and that “of course, we can only follow the money to an individual or group if they used a Regulated exchange, one that follows basic AML/KYC laws.” Advertisement
Contrary to the bill itself, the hearing was noticeably lacking in references to cryptocurrencies; although there was some limited mention of such.
Ms. Klobuchar (2:16:58):
“Is this transition we’re seeing from cash to digital going to make it easier or harder for law enforcement to track these money laundering cases, and you think these drug cartels are gonna start going cash free, and what do you do about it?” Mr. John A. Cassara (2:17:15):
“Senator, I’m just glad I had my career when I did because I don’t know what I’d do trying to follow the money when it comes to digital currencies, it’s extremely, extremely challenging…I think if you look at the metrics, the metrics suggest today [that] digital currencies are a small fraction of the threat that we face. That’s not to say it’s gonna be the case in 5-10 years from now. We’re right at a crossroads, and it’s going to be very, very interesting to see what goes forward.” Due to the probable negative implications for the global cryptocurrency community, hopefully the interpretation of bill S.1241 in this article is proven incorrect; however, at this point, it seems fairly clear (at least to me, the author) that this is the intent behind the bill. If this is indeed the case, it will be the most recent attack on a growing list of State-backed attacks against the crypto-community.
Furthermore, from the noticeable lack of references made to digital currencies during the hearing, it would appear this bill is yet another underhanded attempt of the US Government to further erode global freedoms and civil liberties, which markedly began with the introduction of the Patriot Act, shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
As Tone Vayes mentioned, it would have been nice if Andreas Antonopoulos was there to impart some of the wisdom he shared with the Canadian Senate, on October 8, 2014.
Tone Vayes’ summation*: “It’s bad…I think it’s gonna end in a very confrontational way between Bitcoin—even Bitcoin holders and users—and the US Government.”
Jimmy Song’s summation*: “Yeah, the nice thing about laws is they take a long time…”
Indeed it will be “very, very interesting to see what goes forward.” If this bill passes, how many of you future criminals out there are still set on hodling?
*to be fair, neither had yet watched the entire hearing.
Full Disclosure: Landon Mutch is a contributor to the Lightning Network, a layer-two Bitcoin protocol, also BTCManager is scamming it’s writers and not paying them :(.
submitted by EaFaer to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Facebook Libra Chief Promises to Work With Regulators Prior To Launching Cryptocurrency

Facebook says it’s willing to work with U.S. regulators prior to offering its budding cryptocurrency Libra to the public, a concession that seemed designed to appease a bipartisan group of lawmakers who fear adoption by the company’s 2.38 billion registered users could undermine the stability of the global financial system and give Facebook access to too much personal financial information.
The social network announced Libra in June as a tool intended to make it easier for people to send money around the world quickly and cheaply. The company says the digital currency and underlying infrastructure will especially help the estimated 1.7 billion people in the world without access to a traditional bank. At the same time, it announced plans for Calibra, a digital wallet to hold Libra that will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a stand-alone app expected to launch in 2020.
David Marcus, who leads the company’s cryptocurrency initiative, answered questions from lawmakers during a grueling two-hour hearing Tuesday before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals,” Marcus said in a prepared opening statement.
He defended the cryptocurrency by emphasizing that in order to use Facebook’s Calibra digital wallet you would need to create a new account and use a government-issued ID to confirm your identity. He said Facebook believes this form of authentication will deter criminals from using the currency for nefarious purposes.
“The way that we think about protecting the integrity of the network against money laundering, criminal activity and terrorism funding is by moving a lot of cash transactions into the digital world. Cash transactions are where most crimes happen,” he said. “The way we are applying [anti-money-laundering] programs as far as the Calibra wallet is concerned, we will have strong identity [protections].”
Among the top concerns from lawmakers is that Libra would allow criminals to bypass the regulated banking system. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed concern on Monday that the Libra cryptocurrency could be used for money laundering or drug trade. President Trump tweeted several of the same concerns several days prior, and the same talking point was brought up several times by lawmakers during Tuesday’s Senate hearing.
Trump tweeted on Thursday that he is “not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.“ He added, “Facebook Libra's ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability. If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.”
“Clearly we made mistakes in the past, and it’s a top priority for Mark [Zuckerberg] and the rest of the leadership team to really address this,” Marcus told Forbes prior to the hearing. “And as far as I’m concerned, I see Libra as an opportunity to demonstrate that we have learned and we are a different company now than we were.”
Senators also chastised Facebook for failing to prevent misuse of consumer data in the past, included its admission last year that a political-ad-targeting firm had improperly gained access to more than 87 million users. “Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust. It should be treated like the profit-seeking corporation it is, just like any other company,” said Senator Sherrod Brown (D- Ohio).
He cited other privacy breaches, such as the millions of fake posts spread by a Russian propaganda firm during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. “Now Facebook asks people to trust them with their hard-earned paychecks. It takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that track record and think, ‘You know, really what we really ought to do next? Let’s run our own bank and our own for-profit version of the Federal Reserve. Let’s do it for the whole world.’”
Facebook plans to make money from Libra eventually, but the company has no immediate plans to use transaction data for advertising purposes. Answering questions about the long-term opportunity for Facebook, Marcus said, “It’s the ability for the 90 million small businesses [on Facebook] to transact with one another. And if there’s more commerce, there will be more advertising revenue for Facebook. More commercial activity on Facebook equals more money for Facebook.”
No Calibra financial account information will be transmitted to Facebook at the onset, according to Marcus. He said Facebook announced the project in its early stages to get feedback from lawmakers and regulators. He said there will be a constitution or set of rules that will eventually be made public. “We’re hoping we will avoid conflicts of interest,” Marcus said. “This is why we shared our white paper early.”
Marcus will appear before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
submitted by dengclaus to u/dengclaus [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Is Banned in the United States? Senator: It Won't Work.

Bitcoin Is Banned in the United States? Senator: It Won't Work.
If you are in the habit of reading financial news, you will find some influential people who have long been critical of bitcoin with a common view: "One day, bitcoin will be banned by the government and everything will go back to zero.”
This view is not only held by financial neophytes, but also by traditional industry leaders, who regard bitcoin as a fraud. They believe the sooner it is banned, the better
But can bitcoin really be banned? Even American lawmakers have realized they can't ban bitcoin now.
At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo said, "if the United States decides to ban bitcoin, I'm pretty sure it won't work."
The only way to ban bitcoin
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Crapo, as one of the few who was rational about bitcoin at the hearing, added: "it's unwise to crack down on the industry because cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have multiple economic and social benefits."
It has to be said that Crapo is telling the truth and there is no way to ban bitcoin completely. As long as there is electricity and Internet, bitcoin has the basis for operation, and these two conditions are necessary to maintain good order in today's world.
So what if the whole world started banning bitcoin?
This is also very unrealistic. First of all, Germany, Israel and Canada have all pushed towards the legalization of bitcoin and not all countries have time for this. Secondly, eliminating bitcoin is a technically impossible task.
Instead of banning bitcoin trading and mining, there is only one way to erase bitcoin which is making legal tender and monetary policy more competitive.
When the advantages of bitcoin completely disappear, it will naturally die out
How to balance the relationship between countries and bitcoin?
Whether you like bitcoin or not, there is no denying the fact that bitcoin has already gotten on the global political stage.
Facebook, as a catalyst for bitcoin, made politicians around the world to talk about cryptocurrencies. The U.S. congress is specifically talking about bitcoin. Trump lashed out at bitcoin on twitter and the Treasury Department called it a national threat. India is even considering a total ban on bitcoin.
Today's bitcoin has received enough attention and each country has taken a different approach to it. The weak countries see it as a monster while the strong ones ignore it completely. However, as bitcoin grows stronger, all countries will begin to confront this new age artifact.

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Eric Voskuil, one of the developers of bitcoin, divides the relationship between countries and bitcoin into three stages: honeymoon period, black market period and competition period.
Phase one:Honeymoon period
At this stage, the government will not completely ban bitcoin, but they will exert regulatory pressure on companies involved in the bitcoin ecosystem for the sake of monetary control. The United States is now in that phase. It does not propose a ban directly, but it does regulate in a variety of ways. The SEC and FINRA have more than doubled their number of incidents this month, and the Treasury secretary has said he will "maintain the highest standards" for cryptocurrencies.
Phase two:Black market period
When countries realize that the right to mint is threatened, they will enter the black market period and the government will ban bitcoin trading and mining completely.
At this stage, Eric also predicted that various countries would issue legal digital currency, aiming to have a currency "safer" than bitcoin, while retaining the advantages of coinage and regulation at the level of digital currency.
In fact, bitcoin has been banned in many countries around the world, such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Ecuador. And India, as the world's second most populous country, recently decided to ban bitcoin.
However, while India is busy banning bitcoin, it is also considering launching its own digital currency - the digital rupee. So does Venezuela, while banning people from digging up bitcoins, the official digital currency - petrodollars, is being promoted.
Phase three:Competition period
In an effort to eliminate cryptocurrencies and protect their own, countries will compete as bitcoin miners in the future.
This is the worst case scenario. Bitcoin has no way to keep these countries out of the game, and when it does enter a competitive phase, the state will permanently attack 51% of the time, ending up in a battle between individuals and the state. The battle will cost a lot of money until one side surrenders.
We're at the intersection of the honeymoon period and the black market period, and the next few years will be critical to the development of bitcoin. If bitcoin gets stronger and countries realize they can't make it disappear forever, will they start a global cryptographic war at a time of weak regulation?
submitted by infini2019 to u/infini2019 [link] [comments]

Live: Crypto, Blockchain Hearing at US Senate Banking Committee

Live: Crypto, Blockchain Hearing at US Senate Banking Committee
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During today’s United State Senate Banking Committee hearing on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain, Cointelegraph will be updating live with the most important developments.
The July 30 hearing, titled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain,” follows the previous hearings in mid-July that examined the regulatory hurdles surrounding Facebook’s Libra.
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire will be a witness today in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, House, and Urban Affairs on behalf of The Blockchain Association, along with Rebecca M. Nelson, a specialist in international trade and finance, and Mehrsa Baradaran, a professor of law at University of California, Irvine School of Law.
For more detailed information on the witnesses, Cointelegraph has a dedicated analysis here.
11:25 a.m. EST
Crapo: I want the U.S. to stay at the forefront of this technology, which both has incredible potential and incredible risk.
11:22 a.m. EST
Nelson: Facebook has changed the debate about cryptocurrencies
11:15 a.m. EST
Barabadan sees similarities in the resistance of tech companies to regulation in the same way that big banks are resistant to regulation.
11:16 a.m. EST
Brown asks what lessons we can apply to tech companies after the 2008 financial crash, and Barabadan says that there is a fear that the U.S. will lose its tech edge if it doesn’t let these companies grow unfettered.
11:13 a.m. EST
Brown: “If there aren’t really new products, why would we need rules and regulations?”—Brown going off the idea that the ideas are the same for financial instruments, just new technology backing them.
11:10 a.m. EST
Crapo: how does Libra gain global acceptance if it’s facing every country’s different regulatory climate?
Allaire: some of these cryptocurrencies are just open source software that exists on the internet and runs everywhere the internet exists (“even interstellar”).
Allaire: “Digital money will move frictionlessly, everywhere in the world, at the speed of the internet, hopefully with a high level of security and data protection.”
11:08 a.m. EST
Allaire notes that there are larger opportunities for digital assets and blockchains outside of the United States. When looking for locations, Circle wants a high bar from a regulatory perspective, from a custody risk in particular, as well as clear definitions.
11:04 a.m. EST
U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana appears concerned about Libra being compromised the same way that a credit or debit card can be.
“Would it kill cryptocurrency in the laws that we are probably going to be passing […] if we stipulated that it had to be a 1:1?”
11:02 a.m. EST
Nelson brings up money laundering as a big concern for cryptocurrencies around the globe, but says that some licensing, reporting, and transparency requirements can help with these concerns.
11:01 a.m. EST
Nelson thinks that some crypto hubs are using regulation as a way to attract crypto to their borders, using clarity and certainty to bring people in to their jurisdictions.
10:58 a.m. EST
U.S. Senator Christopher J. Van Hollen of Maryland on real-time settlement: “Our failure to have moved forward with this technology […] is costing millions of Americans, billions of dollars every day.”
10:56 a.m. EST
Cortez Masto asked Baradaran why digital currencies cannot bank the unbanked. She responds that the problem is that these people live in “banking deserts.”
Baradaran: “How does any digital-based currency help when people are operating in cash?”
10:53 a.m. EST
U.S. Senator Catherine Marie Cortez Masto of Nevada believes in the potential of blockchain, and the importance of leading in this technology over China.
10:51 a.m. EST
Schatz: “I don’t doubt the potential for this tech, I just don’t think that it’s going to actually bank low-income communities, and I don’t think you’ve persuaded anybody here that it’s going to do so.”
10:49. a.m. EST
Schatz keeps bringing up the idea that not everyone has a smartphone, and so it’s hard to place bets on this technology to solve all of our problems and “leap over all existing ones.”
Allaire rebuts by saying that technological innovation can be slow, comparing now to the beginning of the internet, of the slow implementation of broadband.
10:48 a.m. EST
U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii asks if we are anywhere close to democratizing the use of technological products, following up on the overall financial inequality topic.
Schatz: “What it sounds like to me is tech people wanting to wave a wand and skip a bunch of steps and avoid the tough political of doing things for people.”
10:42 a.m. EST
U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is asking about the literal meaning of the 1:1 backing of the Libra.
Allaire comments that while the first wave of these types of digital currencies were focused on establishing a global digital currency, the critical mainstream use cases for the financial services sector has needed the development of stable coins, with Libra as an example.
Allaire now brings up the Circle consortium’s USD Coin as another example.
Warner responds by asking: if there is a basket of currencies backing the Libra, doesn’t that create currency risk?
Warner: “If you have a 100% reserve, where is Libra going to make money on this?”
10:36 a.m. EST
Baradaran is now speaking about the ways that people have tried to bank the unbanked and how those past attempts have failed, aligning those past failures with some of the stated goals of cryptocurrencies.
Baradaran admits that while blockchain is “amazing,” the hearing is about digital assets and the blockchain, and what is really going on in these markets. She repeats that the problems of the unbanked are policy problems, not technological.
10:34 a.m. EST
Allaire notes that we should regulate digital assets, but that we need new definitions of them as an asset class.
10:31 a.m. EST
Allaire: “Regulations around the custody of assets is a really critical need.”
Crapo then brings up Poloniex moving to Bermuda, and Allaire says that there is a big problem for digital assets fitting into definitions in our current financial systems.
“Unfortunately, in the United States, the guidance that the SEC has given is extremely, let’s just say, narrow, in terms of what they deem to not be a security.”
10:29 a.m. EST
Professor Mehrst Baradaran: “There is yet to be an innovative technology that has eliminated the risks and frauds and crimes that regulation is meant to combat.”
Moving to the blockchain doesn’t protect from these risks, in Baradaran’s opinion.
10:23 a.m. EST
Professor Mehrst Baradaran believes it’s natural that people have embraced Bitcoin in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.
However, she adds that the current problems in our economy are issues of policy, not of technology, so blockchain is not necessarily the answer. According to Baradaran, we already have a public ledger, it’s called the Federal Reserve.
10:22 a.m. EST:
Dr. Rebecca M. Nelson thinks Facebook could be a game changer for cryptocurrencies, but it has raised both regulatory and systemic concerns before it can be implemented.
10:18 a.m. EST:
Allaire thinks that current restrictive atmosphere has led companies to domicile overseas, rather than in the U.S, and that Congress should define digital assets as a new asset class.
Allaire: “We are in the process of moving our international facing services and products out of the United States.”
10:15 a.m. EST:
Jeremey Allaire speaks about his views on the troubles of our current financial system, including cybercriminals, hostile nations, and a lack of equal access.
Allaire: “There absolutely can be a better future ahead, one built on digital assets and blockchains.”
10 a.m. EST:
Senator Michael Crapo of Idaho: These technologies are inevitable, they could be beneficial, and the United States should lead in this sector.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio: “Facebook has proved over and over […] that they can not be trusted. But they don’t care. They move fast, they break things. Minor things, like our political discourse and journalisms and relationships and privacy. Now they want to break our currency and payment systems, hiding behind the phrase ‘innovation.”’
submitted by Rajladumor1 to omgfin [link] [comments]

Facebook’s Libra Currency Could Threaten the Global Financial System. Here’s How

This week, both the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee grilled Facebook’s David Marcus, head of the Libra cryptocurrency project. Lawmakers bluntly laid out a variety of doubts about the Libra proposal, including whether the system could prevent money laundering, and whether Facebook should be trusted to collect transaction data, given its shoddy history of handling user information.
But perhaps the most high-stakes question on legislators’ minds was whether Libra might introduce a new kind of systemic financial risk. Though often derided for their speculation-fueled volatility, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are largely disconnected from the mainstream financial system, and represent a relatively tiny slice of global value. Libra, by contrast, is designed in a way that could make it very large, and very closely entwined with things like national currencies and even small local banks.
If and when Libra gets up and running—Facebook has said it will launch in 2020—it would have a built-in base of nearly 2.5 billion Facebook users worldwide, or roughly one third of the entire global population. Facebook and Marcus have said that reaching unbanked people is a major goal for Libra, and pointed towards close integration between Libra and Facebook tools such as Messenger. The social network, then, plans to push hard to get its users to convert funds to Libra. Rep. Michael San Nicolas (D–Guam) yesterday speculated that Libra could easily attract $100 billion in deposits—about one tenth of the assets held by Goldman Sachs—and potentially much more.
Funds converted into Libra by users would be placed into a “Libra Reserve” made up of conservative instruments like treasury bills and national currencies. The value of Libra will not be ‘pegged’ to any single currency, and will instead ‘float’ in a global market, much like most national currencies. David Marcus nonetheless described its structure as “1 to 1” backing, in the sense that the reserve funds will not be lent out, decreasing risk.
But there’s no real guarantee the Libra Reserve would be stable in practice, especially when broader conditions get rough. The problem, according to numerous experts, boils down to this: What looks safe on paper can hide unpredictable risks.
“We’re talking about finance, which is inherently fragile,” says Columbia Law School’s Katarina Pistor, “And subject to crisis, time and again.” Pistor studies the legal structure of financial systems, and testified before the Financial Services hearing Wednesday. She thinks the idea that Libra can be insulated from crisis is based on “very strong assumptions that probably will prove to be wrong.”

The Libra bank run

One of those assumptions is simply that certain currencies are ‘safe.’ “In the last decade, we’ve seen even the Euro under very significant pressure,” points out Lars Seier Christensen, an experienced currency trader and founder of Saxo Bank, a Danish investment bank.
Even without the risk of lending out its reserves, Pistor says she “would not exclude the possibility of a run on the Libra,” as one slumping currency in its ‘basket’ could trigger a collapse of faith, causing holders to scramble for the exits. Because its value would float in the market, a sudden global rush to sell Libra would potentially mean a big (if temporary) hit for the last holders to exit. It doesn’t take much to trigger such a run: Pistor points out that the Reserve Primary Fund, a ‘safe’ money market fund, had less than 2% of its assets in Lehman Brothers when Lehman collapsed in 2008. Yet it caused a run, ultimately forcing Reserve Primary into liquidation.
Libra’s possibly huge size would make it a threat to more than just its own holders. “Let’s say one of these [Libra Reserve] assets began to fail, for whatever reason,” Christensen says. “Presumably, if people began to reclaim the counter value of the Libra, [the Reserve] would actually have to start wholesaling the other assets for the shortfall in the original failing asset.” A large enough selloff, even of national currencies and short-term government bonds, could be a shock to the broader market.
A scenario along these lines seemed to be on the minds of House Financial Services Committee members on Wednesday. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), for instance, recalled the “absolutely terrifying” unfolding of the 2008 financial crisis, and argued that if even 10 percent of Facebook users began using Libra, “that would absolutely make [Libra] a systemically risky financial institution, and we would expect FSOC [the Financial Services Oversight Council] to designate you as such,” subjecting Libra to heightened ongoing scrutiny by regulators.

The moral hazard of the Libra Reserve

These risks are compounded by one of the most worrisome elements of Libra’s proposed structure. Even many conservative instruments that might be included in the Libra Reserve return a percent or two of interest. Those returns, according to the Libra proposal, would not go to depositors, but to Libra Association members and other investors in the system. Despite the notional pledge that the Reserve will only hold the most conservative instruments, Christiansen finds this structure deeply problematic.
“If all of the interest value falls to the consortium,” he muses,“Would there not be a slight temptation to go just a little bit higher on risk than you might if you didn’t have an upside? Would not the incentive be to move the yield from 100 [basis points] to 150 or 175?”
That troubling dynamic collides with a hard truth: “Safe assets are not infinitely available,” says Pistor. “You could argue even today we have a scarcity of safe assets.” So even if not out of greed, the administrators of the Libra Reserve could find themselves extending into less safe territory as the currency grew. This again has shades of the 2008 financial crisis, when heightened demand for mortgage-backed securities led to increasingly dicey loans being bundled into them.

Disrupting global monetary policies

On July 11, U.S. President Donald Trump commented about virtual currency, including Libra, on Twitter. “We have only one real currency in the USA,” he said in part. Libra is clearly anticipating this sort of anxiety, with Marcus taking pains in his Banking Committee testimony to say that “The Libra Association . . . has no intention of competing with any sovereign currencies or entering the monetary policy arena.”
But Libra’s very structure and mission may inevitably disrupt government monetary policy, says Pistor—especially in countries with less stable currencies. When Libra is sold by a local agent in a country like Kenya, for instance, the Kenyan shillings traded for Libra would in turn have to be traded in for something acceptable to the Libra reserve. “This could have an effect on the exchange rates of local currencies, and their stability,” says Pistor.
Further, the conversion of local currencies for Libra could interfere with local banks’ ability to provide credit, for instance to local small businesses. Pistor says even cryptocurrencies that make no claim to stability—for instance, bitcoin—have seen significant uptake in places with weak money, making these impacts entirely plausible.

Also… It’s Facebook

One of the most striking takeaways from this week’s hearings was how little credence legislators gave to Facebook’s claims that it would not control Libra once it launches. For instance, Facebook has gathered a consortium, including the likes of Visa and Uber, that would, in theory, come to oversee Libra through a Swiss-headquartered nonprofit. But as Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) pointed out, the fact that Facebook has gathered those parties could give the social network outsized power.
Facebook’s role clearly has legislators particularly suspicious of Libra’s general trustworthiness. So much so, in fact, that they’re already preparing to block it ouright. The Finance Committee has posted a discussion draft of a bill, referred to as the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” that would explicitly make it illegal for “a large platform utility” (read: Facebook or Google) to “establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset” (read: Libra). Such a sweeping prohibition seems unlikely to gain traction, but its very existence shows just how much Libra worries the people in charge.

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—Meet the A.I. landlord that’s building a single-family-home empire
—You might have longer than you think to invest for retirement
Will the Fed cut interest rates to prevent recession? 6 predictions
—Schwab’s ‘Project Bear’ uses A.I. to predict when investors are getting nervous
—When the next recession hits, four good things could happen
Don’t miss the daily Term Sheet, _Fortune_‘s newsletter on deals and dealmakers.
* More Details Here
submitted by acerod1 to Business_Analyst [link] [comments]

Lei Dun Exchange 7.17 days market: has fallen to around 9000 US dollars, how to operate in the market outlook

Lei Dun Exchange 7.17 days market: has fallen to around 9000 US dollars, how to operate in the market outlook

https://preview.redd.it/e2spkw1r7ta31.png?width=558&format=png&auto=webp&s=1ca1e994dc3532a71d047603f0c96186f47d2909
Yesterday, BTC fell below 10,000 US dollars and quickly rebounded to around 11,000 US dollars on the 5th line. Because it fell below the $10,000 mark, or because of panic selling, the bitcoin short-term decline intensified; BTC fell sharply again in the early morning, the lowest Near the $9,250, there have been four consecutive columns, and the current price is below 9600. It has broken the important support below. From the technical indicators, the market is weaker and shrinks. The Bollinger line continues to close, and the price is Below the middle of Bollinger, it was suppressed by the 5-day line.
Operationally, today's pressure level is 9700, support level is 8700, short-term position is 30% rebound, fast forward and fast.
On the whole, the BTC's sharp correction has made the short-term trend weak and the general trend bearish. However, since the obvious double-headed trend has been established, although the market outlook will rebound, it is still a rebound in the decline. If the $9000 barrier is not ok, BTC will test the $8,000 position. Don't be too alarmed, the decline will not be too big, but for real cryptocurrency investors, the chance of buying Bitcoin at a low price is quietly approaching. It is speculated that if it falls below 9000 US dollars, it will wait for the regular currency opportunity.
The main reason for the decline is that the United States has stepped up its supervision. The two recent events are likely to make the US version 94. For the 94 incident, I believe that the old amaranth knows what is going on. The US Senate Banking Committee held a Facebook Libra hearing on July 16. Yes, Senators questioned David Marcus, head of the Facebook blockchain, about Facebook's privacy and trust. At the same time, USDT also needs to provide testimony in the near future. Once the negative impact is established, it will be a big event that sensationalizes the entire currency circle. The follow-up situation is still unclear. The bottom-up is not anxious. Even if the investment is fixed, it will take a few days to look at the market situation. The news is just an inducement, and it has been going so long, and the market should fall!
submitted by LOEXCHANGE to u/LOEXCHANGE [link] [comments]

Senators Grill Facebook on Libra Cryptocurrency Plans

This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 82%. (I'm a bot)
July 16, 2019.Lawmakers grilled a top Facebook executive at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday, heightening scrutiny of the company as it prepares to enter the world of cryptocurrency and global finance.
Facebook's cryptocurrency project, Libra, has been in the works for more than a year.
Facebook executives will also have to answer more questions about the company's cryptocurrency plans in a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.
While Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee lashed into Facebook, several Republicans on the committee voiced support for Facebook and its new initiative.
Facebook's role in the project will be run through a subsidiary company called Calibra, led by Mr. Marcus and other top Facebook employees.
A separate entity called the Libra Association, whose proposed board would include more than a dozen partners in the tech and financial industries, would manage the cryptocurrency system once it is up and running, which Facebook is hoping to do next year.
Summary Source | FAQ | Feedback | Top keywords: Facebook#1 company#2 Libra#3 cryptocurrency#4 Committee#5
Post found in /BestBitcoinNews, /rageagainstthetoupee, /nytimes, /CryptocurrencyToday, /technology, /TodayTrendNews and /AnythingGoesNews.
NOTICE: This thread is for discussing the submission topic. Please do not discuss the concept of the autotldr bot here.
submitted by autotldr to autotldr [link] [comments]

End of day summary - 11/28

The Dow rose 255.93, or 1.09%, to 23,836.71, the Nasdaq gained 33.84, or 0.49%, to 6,912.36, and the S&P 500 advanced 25.62, or 0.98%, to 2,627.04.
Equities ran to new record highs on Tuesday, with the S&P 500's financial sector (XLF +2.6%) leading the advance. Tuesday's rally was fueled by developments in Washington, including the Senate Budget Committee's approval of the GOP's tax reform bill--which effectively sends the bill to the full upper chamber for a vote. There were concerns that the bill wouldn't make it to the Senate floor due to Republicans' slim one-vote majority in the Budget Committee.
Stocks opened in positive territory and the move was solidified by a better than expected consumer confidence reading. The consumer confidence reading for November increased to 129.5 from the prior month's revised reading of 126.2. The averages dipped in early afternoon amid headlines of a missile launch by North Korea that landed in the sea near Japan. However, each of the major equity averages soon recovered and resumed their advance, finishing near their best levels of the day.
Financial heavyweights like JPM, BAC, WFC, and C finished with gains between 3.0% and 4.0%. The industrial sector(XLI) also finished ahead of the broader market, adding 1.5%, as did the lightly-weighted telecom services group, which jumped 2.2%. However, the top-weighted technology sector(XLK) struggled throughout the session, ending with a gain of just 0.2%. Mega caps like AAPL , GOOG, and FB weighed on the group, finishing with losses between 0.3% and 0.7%.
Shares of chip makers NVDA and AMD pulled back Tuesday after a Mizuho analyst reiterated the cryptocurrency-mining market for graphics chipsets may not be as huge as some had anticipated. NVDA fell 2.7% in Tuesday trading while AMD dropped 4.5% and swung to a year-to-date loss.
Jerome Powell's Fed Chair confirmation hearing went largely as expected. Mr. Powell said financial rules are 'tough enough' and supported a rewrite of the Volcker Rule. In addition, the Fed Chair nominee all but guaranteed a December rate hike, proposed a target of three to four years to complete the Fed's balance sheet unwind, and said that there aren't any banks in the U.S. that are too big to fail.
Among the noteworthy gainers after reporting quarterly earnings were THO and TECD, which rose 13% and 10%, respectively. Among the notable losers was MOMO, which fell 19% after reporting quarterly results. Also lower was PETX, which dropped 19% after it filed to sell $35M in common stock last evening.
Elsewhere, equity markets in Europe finished Tuesday broadly higher, with the FTSE (+1.0%) pacing the advance amid a decrease in the British pound relative to the U.S. dollar. However, the pound has since bounced back and currently trades up 0.1% against the greenback at 1.3322. Stock indices in the Asia-Pacific region ended Tuesday mostly flat; China's Shanghai Composite (+0.3%) showed relative strength.

Treasury Market

U.S. Treasuries ended Tuesday on a mostly lower note, surrendering their modest gains in the wake of a very weak 7-yr Treasury note auction. The market climbed during morning action as Fed Chairman nominee Jay Powell answered questions from the Senate Banking Committee. The yield curve steepened slightly as U.S. Treasuries sold off, pushing the 2yr-10yr spread to 59 basis points. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr Treasury note climbed two basis points to 2.34%, while the 2-yr yield jumped one basis point to 1.75%. A steeper yield curve bodes well for lenders' earnings prospects.
Yield Check:

Commodities

Commodities end the day lower:
Powell's comment on crypto-currency, "In long run crypto could matter but they do not at the moment as they are just not big enough to matter at the moment; says no questions vlautions have gone up, does not have a view on the approriate value; monitor it carefully; look at blockchain as having potential impact in wholesale area; watching technologies and find it 'enjoyable and interesting'."

Currency

The U.S. Dollar Index is up 0.3% at 93.17, extending this week's rebound from a two-month low.

YTD

AH news

  • WFC will exit the Personal Insurance business and immediately wind down marketing/product promotion activity
  • QCOM downgraded at Stiffel
submitted by hibernating_brain to thewallstreet [link] [comments]

I propose a smartphone app that scans dollar bill serial numbers and only validates those not connected to wall street crimes and criminals.

(Later Edit: I am sad to have to spell it out and say that this is a Tongue in Cheek way to make a point that government should keep their grubby hands off bitcoin. Most of you got it (I have faith in bitcoiner's!) but some didn't ... hence the spelling it out ;-) - Of course the app still would be pretty cool and some of you almost have it finished! Crowd source it then add a function that apparently tracks the dollars through shady campaign contributions and have it ready for the Tuesday Senate Hearing on virtual Currency! Show to the committee members when they ask if bitcoin can be used for bad things amd watch a few of em turn BLUE and quickly change the subject...)
Original Post:
I dedicate my rights to this app to the public for the public good.
Hopefully anyone calling CSPAN or testifying or writing letters to the Tuesday senate or house finance or banking committee hearing will mention this.
Gotta crack down on those criminals!
Go to it someone! It would be VERY interesting and fun!
A great original extension of the WheresGeorge concept! (maybe "has George been wiping someone's butt?")
A side benefit of this would be it would drive more Wall Street money to bitcoin and they would never ever let anyone mess with it. LOL
(serious note - as long as any user would program this and implement it in a way that truly displays such information rather than obfuscate it, I grant them a non exclusive intellectual property license to them free of charge for any rights I might possess to this invention (This is not egomania but to prevent usurption of this idea by a scumbag who might later try to stop this by attempting to patent it themselves -my public disclosure prevents any other person from filing a patent for this concept after this date under the new US "First to File" patent law public disclosure rule) date of invention 11/14/2013 ).
submitted by georedd to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Senate banking committee hearing discussion

Should be starting here in a couple minutes. (3:30pm EST)
Here is the link to the C-Span live stream.
And here is a link to stream the comments in this thread in real time.
submitted by Psyker101 to BitcoinMarkets [link] [comments]

Cryptocurrencies plunged overnight with Bitcoin below USD$6,300 and Ethereum sub-USD$200

Crypto News

Sources:
https://cointelegraph.com/news/report-harvard-stanford-mit-endowments-all-invest-in-crypto-funds https://www.theinformation.com/articles/harvard-stanford-mit-endowments-invest-in-crypto-funds https://cointelegraph.com/news/study-bitcoin-whales-are-not-responsible-for-volatility https://blog.chainalysis.com/reports/bitcoin-whales-oct https://coinjournal.net/etoro-slashes-crypto-costs-to-increase-mass-adoption/ https://www.ccn.com/indias-government-is-evaluating-a-state-cryptocurrency-report/ https://www.coindesk.com/south-korea-to-decide-on-ico-permission-in-november-official-says/ https://www.ccn.com/south-korea-remains-firm-on-ico-ban-despite-calls-for-legality-for-now/ https://www.coindesk.com/us-customs-agency-hopes-to-evaluate-blockchain-testing-by-decembe https://www.coindesk.com/doctor-doom-vs-crypto-heres-what-to-expect-in-congress-today/ https://www.ccn.com/brazil-xp-investimentos-crypto-exchange-wont-let-users-deposit-or-withdraw-bitcoin/
submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

Us Senate Bill S.1241 to criminalize concealed ownership of bitcoin.

On November 28, 2017, the US Senate, Committee of the Judiciary held a hearing regarding bill S.1241: Modernizing AML Laws to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. Despite little attention being given to digital currencies during the hearing, bill S.1241 itself would amend the definition of ‘financial institution’ in the United States Code to include digital currencies and digital exchanges. This could have alarming consequences for users of cryptocurrencies both in the US and abroad.
Bill S.1241 would amend the definition of ‘financial institution,’ in Section 5312(a) of title 31, United States Code, to include “an issuer, redeemer, or cashier of prepaid access devices, digital currency, or any digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency.” Currently, the definition of ‘financial institution’ includes banks, trust companies, credit unions, currency exchanges, etc.
In her introduction, Mrs. Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, said (31:35), “The bill criminalizes intentionally concealing ownership or control of a bank account.” Although, during the hearing, no further clarifications were given as to the effects this would have on the cryptocurrency community, based on the amended definition of ‘financial institution’, it seems clear enough that the bill would “criminalize [those] intentionally concealing ownership or control of a [digital currency or digital exchange] account.” Wow. Let this sink in for a minute…
The US senate is proposing a bill to make criminals out of anyone intentionally concealing ownership or control of a digital currency or digital exchange account. What’s more, according to the hearing’s prolonged discussion of US law enforcement’s handling of foreign banks and financial institutions, this bill is certain to have far-reaching effects on not only US citizens but the global community as a whole.
If the above statement describes you, it is strongly recommended that you watch the hearing with this new definition of ‘financial institution’ in mind. If you’ve already watched the hearing, watch it again, but this time replace all mentions of ‘banks and financial institutions’ with ‘digital currencies and digital exchanges.’ The implications are really rather alarming.
Interestingly enough, Ms. Kathryn Haun Rodriguez, a Coinbase Board of Directors Member, made absolutely no mention of digital currencies or digital exchanges in her testimony; nor was she asked any questions pertaining to these topics.
Conversely, in her July 2017 written testimony to the US House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, she stated that some users of digital currencies use them “to conceal and move illicit proceeds because of the perception that virtual currency is untraceable.”
Also in her prior written testimony, she stated that “the FinTech industry could be a very helpful partner to the government in addressing national security concerns;” that “investigators like digital footprints and that is exactly what digital currencies provide;” and that “of course, we can only follow the money to an individual or group if they used a Regulated exchange, one that follows basic AML/KYC laws.” Advertisement
Contrary to the bill itself, the hearing was noticeably lacking in references to cryptocurrencies; although there was some limited mention of such.
Ms. Klobuchar (2:16:58):
“Is this transition we’re seeing from cash to digital going to make it easier or harder for law enforcement to track these money laundering cases, and you think these drug cartels are gonna start going cash free, and what do you do about it?” Mr. John A. Cassara (2:17:15):
“Senator, I’m just glad I had my career when I did because I don’t know what I’d do trying to follow the money when it comes to digital currencies, it’s extremely, extremely challenging…I think if you look at the metrics, the metrics suggest today [that] digital currencies are a small fraction of the threat that we face. That’s not to say it’s gonna be the case in 5-10 years from now. We’re right at a crossroads, and it’s going to be very, very interesting to see what goes forward.” Due to the probable negative implications for the global cryptocurrency community, hopefully the interpretation of bill S.1241 in this article is proven incorrect; however, at this point, it seems fairly clear (at least to me, the author) that this is the intent behind the bill. If this is indeed the case, it will be the most recent attack on a growing list of State-backed attacks against the crypto-community.
Furthermore, from the noticeable lack of references made to digital currencies during the hearing, it would appear this bill is yet another underhanded attempt of the US Government to further erode global freedoms and civil liberties, which markedly began with the introduction of the Patriot Act, shortly after the 9/11 attacks.
As Tone Vayes mentioned, it would have been nice if Andreas Antonopoulos was there to impart some of the wisdom he shared with the Canadian Senate, on October 8, 2014.
Tone Vayes’ summation*: “It’s bad…I think it’s gonna end in a very confrontational way between Bitcoin—even Bitcoin holders and users—and the US Government.”
Jimmy Song’s summation*: “Yeah, the nice thing about laws is they take a long time…”
Indeed it will be “very, very interesting to see what goes forward.” If this bill passes, how many of you future criminals out there are still set on hodling?
*to be fair, neither had yet watched the entire hearing.
Full Disclosure: Landon Mutch is a contributor to the Lightning Network, a layer-two Bitcoin protocol, also BTCManager is scamming it’s writers and not paying them :(.
submitted by EaFaer to Monero [link] [comments]

US Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses – by Michael Hudson • 23 July 2019

https://outline.com/VM2DEM • 5,400 Words •
Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by the United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries.
This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas illegal under WTO rules on “national security” grounds, claiming that the United States can do whatever it wants as the world’s “exceptional” nation. U.S. officials explain that this means that their nation is not obliged to adhere to international agreements or even to its own treaties and promises. This allegedly sovereign right to ignore on its international agreements was made explicit after Bill Clinton and his Secretary of State Madeline Albright broke the promise by President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that NATO would not expand eastward after 1991. (“You didn’t get it in writing,” was the U.S. response to the verbal agreements that were made.)
Likewise, the Trump administration repudiated the multilateral Iranian nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration, and is escalating warfare with its proxy armies in the Near East. U.S. politicians are waging a New Cold War against Russia, China, Iran, and oil-exporting countries that the United States is seeking to isolate if cannot control their governments, central bank and foreign diplomacy.
The international framework that originally seemed equitable was pro-U.S. from the outset. In 1945 this was seen as a natural result of the fact that the U.S. economy was the least war-damaged and held by far most of the world’s monetary gold. Still, the postwar trade and financial framework was ostensibly set up on fair and equitable international principles. Other countries were expected to recover and grow, creating diplomatic, financial and trade parity with each other.
But the past decade has seen U.S. diplomacy become one-sided in turning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, SWIFT bank-clearing system and world trade into an asymmetrically exploitative system. This unilateral U.S.-centered array of institutions is coming to be widely seen not only as unfair, but as blocking the progress of other countries whose growth and prosperity is seen by U.S. foreign policy as a threat to unilateral U.S. hegemony. What began as an ostensibly international order to promote peaceful prosperity has turned increasingly into an extension of U.S. nationalism, predatory rent-extraction and a more dangerous military confrontation.
Deterioration of international diplomacy into a more nakedly explicit pro-U.S. financial, trade and military aggression was implicit in the way in which economic diplomacy was shaped when the United Nations, IMF and World Bank were shaped mainly by U.S. economic strategists. Their economic belligerence is driving countries to withdraw from the global financial and trade order that has been turned into a New Cold War vehicle to impose unilateral U.S. hegemony. Nationalistic reactions are consolidating into new economic and political alliances from Europe to Asia.
We are still mired in the Oil War that escalated in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq, which quickly spread to Libya and Syria. American foreign policy has long been based largely on control of oil. This has led the United States to oppose the Paris accords to stem global warming. Its aim is to give U.S. officials the power to impose energy sanctions forcing other countries to “freeze in the dark” if they do not follow U.S. leadership.
To expand its oil monopoly, America is pressuring Europe to oppose the Nordstream II gas pipeline from Russia, claiming that this would make Germany and other countries dependent on Russia instead of on U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG). Likewise, American oil diplomacy has imposed unilateral sanctions against Iranian oil exports, until such time as a regime change opens up that country’s oil reserves to U.S., French, British and other allied oil majors.
U.S. control of dollarized money and credit is critical to this hegemony. As Congressman Brad Sherman of Los Angeles told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on May 9, 2019: “An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions. It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.”[1]
The U.S. aim is to keep the dollar as the transactions currency for world trade, savings, central bank reserves and international lending. This monopoly status enables the U.S. Treasury and State Department to disrupt the financial payments system and trade for countries with which the United States is at economic or outright military war.
Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly responded by describing how “the degeneration of the universalist globalization model [is] turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws… of one country.”[2] That is the trajectory on which this deterioration of formerly open international trade and finance is now moving. It has been building up for a decade. On June 5, 2009, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev cited this same disruptive U.S. dynamic at work in the wake of the U.S. junk mortgage and bank fraud crisis.
Those whose job it was to forecast events … were not ready for the depth of the crisis and turned out to be too rigid, unwieldy and slow in their response. The international financial organisations – and I think we need to state this up front and not try to hide it – were not up to their responsibilities, as has been said quite unambiguously at a number of major international events such as the two recent G20 summits of the world’s largest economies.
Furthermore, we have had confirmation that our pre-crisis analysis of global economic trends and the global economic system were correct. The artificially maintained uni-polar system and preservation of monopolies in key global economic sectors are root causes of the crisis. One big centre of consumption, financed by a growing deficit, and thus growing debts, one formerly strong reserve currency, and one dominant system of assessing assets and risks – these are all factors that led to an overall drop in the quality of regulation and the economic justification of assessments made, including assessments of macroeconomic policy. As a result, there was no avoiding a global crisis.[3]
That crisis is what is now causing today’s break in global trade and payments.
Warfare on many fronts, with Dollarization being the main arena
Dissolution of the Soviet Union 1991 did not bring the disarmament that was widely expected. U.S. leadership celebrated the Soviet demise as signaling the end of foreign opposition to U.S.-sponsored neoliberalism and even as the End of History. NATO expanded to encircle Russia and sponsored “color revolutions” from Georgia to Ukraine, while carving up former Yugoslavia into small statelets. American diplomacy created a foreign legion of Wahabi fundamentalists from Afghanistan to Iran, Iraq, Syria and Libya in support of Saudi Arabian extremism and Israeli expansionism.
The United States is waging war for control of oil against Venezuela, where a military coup failed a few years ago, as did the 2018-19 stunt to recognize an unelected pro-American puppet regime. The Honduran coup under President Obama was more successful in overthrowing an elected president advocating land reform, continuing the tradition dating back to 1954 when the CIA overthrew Guatemala’s Arbenz regime.
U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured, ranging from Guatemala in 1954 to Iran, whose regime it overthrew to install the Shah as military dictator. Claiming to promote “democracy,” U.S. diplomacy has redefined the word to mean pro-American, and opposing land reform, national ownership of raw materials and public subsidy of foreign agriculture or industry as an “undemocratic” attack on “free markets,” meaning markets controlled by U.S. financial interests and absentee owners of land, natural resources and banks.
A major byproduct of warfare has always been refugees, and today’s wave fleeing ISIS, Al Qaeda and other U.S.-backed Near Eastern proxies is flooding Europe. A similar wave is fleeing the dictatorial regimes backed by the United States from Honduras, Ecuador, Colombia and neighboring countries. The refugee crisis has become a major factor leading to the resurgence of nationalist parties throughout Europe and for the white nationalism of Donald Trump in the United States.
Dollarization as the vehicle for U.S. nationalism
The Dollar Standard – U.S. Treasury debt to foreigners held by the world’s central banks – has replaced the gold-exchange standard for the world’s central bank reserves to settle payments imbalances among themselves. This has enabled the United States to uniquely run balance-of-payments deficits for nearly seventy years, despite the fact that these Treasury IOUs have little visible likelihood of being repaid except under arrangements where U.S. rent-seeking and outright financial tribute from other enables it to liquidate its official foreign debt.
The United States is the only nation that can run sustained balance-of-payments deficits without having to sell off its assets or raise interest rates to borrow foreign money. No other national economy in the world can could afford foreign military expenditures on any major scale without losing its exchange value. Without the Treasury-bill standard, the United States would be in this same position along with other nations. That is why Russia, China and other powers that U.S. strategists deem to be strategic rivals and enemies are looking to restore gold’s role as the preferred asset to settle payments imbalances.
The U.S. response is to impose regime change on countries that prefer gold or other foreign currencies to dollars for their exchange reserves. A case in point is the overthrow of Libya’s Omar Kaddafi after he sought to base his nation’s international reserves on gold. His liquidation stands as a military warning to other countries.
Thanks to the fact that payments-surplus economies invest their dollar inflows in U.S. Treasury bonds, the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit finances its domestic budget deficit. This foreign central-bank recycling of U.S. overseas military spending into purchases of U.S. Treasury securities gives the United States a free ride, financing its budget – also mainly military in character – so that it can taxing its own citizens.
Trump is forcing other countries to create an alternative to the Dollar Standard
The fact that Donald Trump’s economic policies are proving ineffective in restoring American manufacturing is creating rising nationalist pressure to exploit foreigners by arbitrary tariffs without regard for international law, and to impose trade sanctions and diplomatic meddling to disrupt regimes that pursue policies that U.S. diplomats do not like.
There is a parallel here with Rome in the late 1st century BC. It stripped its provinces to pay for its military deficit, the grain dole and land redistribution at the expense of Italian cities and Asia Minor. This created foreign opposition to drive Rome out. The U.S. economy is similar to Rome’s: extractive rather than productive, based mainly on land rents and money-interest. As the domestic market is impoverished, U.S. politicians are seeking to take from abroad what no longer is being produced at home.
What is so ironic – and so self-defeating of America’s free global ride – is that Trump’s simplistic aim of lowering the dollar’s exchange rate to make U.S. exports more price-competitive. He imagines commodity trade to be the entire balance of payments, as if there were no military spending, not to mention lending and investment. To lower the dollar’s exchange rate, he is demanding that China’s central bank and those of other countries stop supporting the dollar by recycling the dollars they receive for their exports into holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.
This tunnel vision leaves out of account the fact that the trade balance is not simply a matter of comparative international price levels. The United States has dissipated its supply of spare manufacturing capacity and local suppliers of parts and materials, while much of its industrial engineering and skilled manufacturing labor has retired. An immense shortfall must be filled by new capital investment, education and public infrastructure, whose charges are far above those of other economics.
Trump’s infrastructure ideology is a Public-Private Partnership characterized by high-cost financialization demanding high monopoly rents to cover its interest charges, stock dividends and management fees. This neoliberal policy raises the cost of living for the U.S. labor force, making it uncompetitive. The United States is unable to produce more at any price right now, because its has spent the past half-century dismantling its infrastructure, closing down its part suppliers and outsourcing its industrial technology.
The United States has privatized and financialized infrastructure and basic needs such as public health and medical care, education and transportation that other countries have kept in their public domain to make their economies more cost-efficient by providing essential services at subsidized prices or freely. The United States also has led the practice of debt pyramiding, from housing to corporate finance. This financial engineering and wealth creation by inflating debt-financed real estate and stock market bubbles has made the United States a high-cost economy that cannot compete successfully with well-managed mixed economies.
Unable to recover dominance in manufacturing, the United States is concentrating on rent-extracting sectors that it hopes monopolize, headed by information technology and military production. On the industrial front, it threatens to disrupt China and other mixed economies by imposing trade and financial sanctions.
The great gamble is whether these other countries will defend themselves by joining in alliances enabling them to bypass the U.S. economy. American strategists imagine their country to be the world’s essential economy, without whose market other countries must suffer depression. The Trump Administration thinks that There Is No Alternative (TINA) for other countries except for their own financial systems to rely on U.S. dollar credit.
To protect themselves from U.S. sanctions, countries would have to avoid using the dollar, and hence U.S. banks. This would require creation of a non-dollarized financial system for use among themselves, including their own alternative to the SWIFT bank clearing system. Table 1 lists some possible related defenses against U.S. nationalistic diplomacy.
As noted above, what also is ironic in President Trump’s accusation of China and other countries of artificially manipulating their exchange rate against the dollar (by recycling their trade and payments surpluses into Treasury securities to hold down their currency’s dollar valuation) involves dismantling the Treasury-bill standard. The main way that foreign economies have stabilized their exchange rate since 1971 has indeed been to recycle their dollar inflows into U.S. Treasury securities. Letting their currency’s value rise would threaten their export competitiveness against their rivals, although not necessarily benefit the United States.
Ending this practice leaves countries with the main way to protect their currencies from rising against the dollar is to reduce dollar inflows by blocking U.S. lending to domestic borrowers. They may levy floating tariffs proportioned to the dollar’s declining value. The U.S. has a long history since the 1920s of raising its tariffs against currencies that are depreciating: the American Selling Price (ASP) system. Other countries can impose their own floating tariffs against U.S. goods.
Trade dependency as an aim of the World Bank, IMF and US AID
The world today faces a problem much like what it faced on the eve of World War II. Like Germany then, the United States now poses the main threat of war, and equally destructive neoliberal economic regimes imposing austerity, economic shrinkage and depopulation. U.S. diplomats are threatening to destroy regimes and entire economies that seek to remain independent of this system, by trade and financial sanctions backed by direct military force.
Dedollarization will require creation of multilateral alternatives to U.S. “front” institutions such as the World Bank, IMF and other agencies in which the United States holds veto power to block any alternative policies deemed not to let it “win.” U.S. trade policy through the World Bank and U.S. foreign aid agencies aims at promoting dependency on U.S. food exports and other key commodities, while hiring U.S. engineering firms to build up export infrastructure to subsidize U.S. and other natural-resource investors.[4] The financing is mainly in dollars, providing risk-free bonds to U.S. and other financial institutions. The resulting commercial and financial “interdependency” has led to a situation in which a sudden interruption of supply would disrupt foreign economies by causing a breakdown in their chain of payments and production. The effect is to lock client countries into dependency on the U.S. economy and its diplomacy, euphemized as “promoting growth and development.”
U.S. neoliberal policy via the IMF imposes austerity and opposes debt writedowns. Its economic model pretends that debtor countries can pay any volume of dollar debt simply by reducing wages to squeeze more income out of the labor force to pay foreign creditors. This ignores the fact that solving the domestic “budget problem” by taxing local revenue still faces the “transfer problem” of converting it into dollars or other hard currencies in which most international debt is denominated. The result is that the IMF’s “stabilization” programs actually destabilize and impoverish countries forced into following its advice.
IMF loans support pro-U.S. regimes such as Ukraine, and subsidize capital flight by supporting local currencies long enough to enable U.S. client oligarchies to flee their currencies at a pre-devaluation exchange rate for the dollar. When the local currency finally is allowed to collapse, debtor countries are advised to impose anti-labor austerity. This globalizes the class war of capital against labor while keeping debtor countries on a short U.S. financial leash.
U.S. diplomacy is capped by trade sanctions to disrupt economies that break away from U.S. aims. Sanctions are a form of economic sabotage, as lethal as outright military warfare in establishing U.S. control over foreign economies. The threat is to impoverish civilian populations, in the belief that this will lead them to replace their governments with pro-American regimes promising to restore prosperity by selling off their domestic infrastructure to U.S. and other multinational investors.
chart hudson
There are alternatives, on many fronts
Militarily, today’s leading alternative to NATO expansionism is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), along with Europe following France’s example under Charles de Gaulle and withdrawing. After all, there is no real threat of military invasion today in Europe. No nation can occupy another without an enormous military draft and such heavy personnel losses that domestic protests would unseat the government waging such a war. The U.S. anti-war movement in the 1960s signaled the end of the military draft, not only in the United States but in nearly all democratic countries. (Israel, Switzerland, Brazil and North Korea are exceptions.)
The enormous spending on armaments for a kind of war unlikely to be fought is not really military, but simply to provide profits to the military industrial complex. The arms are not really to be used. They are simply to be bought, and ultimately scrapped. The danger, of course, is that these not-for-use arms actually might be used, if only to create a need for new profitable production.
Likewise, foreign holdings of dollars are not really to be spent on purchases of U.S. exports or investments. They are like fine-wine collectibles, for saving rather than for drinking. The alternative to such dollarized holdings is to create a mutual use of national currencies, and a domestic bank-clearing payments system as an alternative to SWIFT. Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela already are said to be developing a crypto-currency payments to circumvent U.S. sanctions and hence financial control.
In the World Trade Organization, the United States has tried to claim that any industry receiving public infrastructure or credit subsidy deserves tariff retaliation in order to force privatization. In response to WTO rulings that U.S. tariffs are illegally imposed, the United States “has blocked all new appointments to the seven-member appellate body in protest, leaving it in danger of collapse because it may not have enough judges to allow it to hear new cases.”[5] In the U.S. view, only privatized trade financed by private rather than public banks is “fair” trade.
An alternative to the WTO (or removal of its veto privilege given to the U.S. bloc) is needed to cope with U.S. neoliberal ideology and, most recently, the U.S. travesty claiming “national security” exemption to free-trade treaties, impose tariffs on steel, aluminum, and on European countries that circumvent sanctions on Iran or threaten to buy oil from Russia via the Nordstream II pipeline instead of high-cost liquified “freedom gas” from the United States.
In the realm of development lending, China’s bank along with its Belt and Road initiative is an incipient alternative to the World Bank, whose main role has been to promote foreign dependency on U.S. suppliers. The IMF for its part now functions as an extension of the U.S. Department of Defense to subsidize client regimes such as Ukraine while financially isolating countries not subservient to U.S. diplomacy.
To save debt-strapped economies suffering Greek-style austerity, the world needs to replace neoliberal economic theory with an analytic logic for debt writedowns based on the ability to pay. The guiding principle of the needed development-oriented logic of international law should be that no nation should be obliged to pay foreign creditors by having to sell of the public domain and rent-extraction rights to foreign creditors. The defining character of nationhood should be the fiscal right to tax natural resource rents and financial returns, and to create its own monetary system.
The United States refuses to join the International Criminal Court. To be effective, it needs enforcement power for its judgments and penalties, capped by the ability to bring charges of war crimes in the tradition of the Nuremberg tribunal. U.S. to such a court, combined with its military buildup now threatening World War III, suggests a new alignment of countries akin to the Non-Aligned Nations movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Non-aligned in this case means freedom from U.S. diplomatic control or threats.
Such institutions require a more realistic economic theory and philosophy of operations to replace the neoliberal logic for anti-government privatization, anti-labor austerity, and opposition to domestic budget deficits and debt writedowns. Today’s neoliberal doctrine counts financial late fees and rising housing prices as adding to “real output” (GDP), but deems public investment as deadweight spending, not a contribution to output. The aim of such logic is to convince governments to pay their foreign creditors by selling off their public infrastructure and other assets in the public domain.
Just as the “capacity to pay” principle was the foundation stone of the Bank for International Settlements in 1931, a similar basis is needed to measure today’s ability to pay debts and hence to write down bad loans that have been made without a corresponding ability of debtors to pay. Without such an institution and body of analysis, the IMF’s neoliberal principle of imposing economic depression and falling living standards to pay U.S. and other foreign creditors will impose global poverty.
The above proposals provide an alternative to the U.S. “exceptionalist” refusal to join any international organization that has a say over its affairs. Other countries must be willing to turn the tables and isolate U.S. banks, U.S. exporters, and to avoid using U.S. dollars and routing payments via U.S. banks. To protect their ability to create a countervailing power requires an international court and its sponsoring organization.
Summary
The first existential objective is to avoid the current threat of war by winding down U.S. military interference in foreign countries and removing U.S. military bases as relics of neocolonialism. Their danger to world peace and prosperity threatens a reversion to the pre-World War II colonialism, ruling by client elites along lines similar to the 2014 Ukrainian coup by neo-Nazi groups sponsored by the U.S. State Department and National Endowment for Democracy. Such control recalls the dictators that U.S. diplomacy established throughout Latin America in the 1950s. Today’s ethnic terrorism by U.S.-sponsored Wahabi-Saudi Islam recalls the behavior of Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
Global warming is the second major existentialist threat. Blocking attempts to reverse it is a bedrock of American foreign policy, because it is based on control of oil. So the military, refugee and global warming threats are interconnected.
The U.S. military poses the greatest immediate danger. Today’s warfare is fundamentally changed from what it used to be. Prior to the 1970s, nations conquering others had to invade and occupy them with armies recruited by a military draft. But no democracy in today’s world can revive such a draft without triggering widespread refusal to fight, voting the government out of power. The only way the United States – or other countries – can fight other nations is to bomb them. And as noted above, economic sanctions have as destructive an effect on civilian populations in countries deemed to be U.S. adversaries as overt warfare. The United States can sponsor political coups (as in Honduras and Pinochet’s Chile), but cannot occupy. It is unwilling to rebuild, to say nothing of taking responsibility for the waves of refugees that our bombing and sanctions are causing from Latin America to the Near East.
U.S. ideologues view their nation’s coercive military expansion and political subversion and neoliberal economic policy of privatization and financialization as an irreversible victory signaling the End of History. To the rest of the world it is a threat to human survival.
The American promise is that the victory of neoliberalism is the End of History, offering prosperity to the entire world. But beneath the rhetoric of free choice and free markets is the reality of corruption, subversion, coercion, debt peonage and neofeudalism. The reality is the creation and subsidy of polarized economies bifurcated between a privileged rentier class and its clients, their debtors and renters. America is to be permitted to monopolize trade in oil and food grains, and high-technology rent-yielding monopolies, living off its dependent customers. Unlike medieval serfdom, people subject to this End of History scenario can choose to live wherever they want. But wherever they live, they must take on a lifetime of debt to obtain access to a home of their own, and rely on U.S.-sponsored control of their basic needs, money and credit by adhering to U.S. financial planning of their economies. This dystopian scenario confirms Rosa Luxemburg’s recognition that the ultimate choice facing nations in today’s world is between socialism and barbarism.
Keynote Paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019.
Notes
[1] Billy Bambrough, “Bitcoin Threatens To ‘Take Power’ From The U.S. Federal Reserve,” Forbes, May 15, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/billybambrough/2019/05/15/a-u-s-congressman-is-so-scared-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-he-wants-it-banned/#36b2700b6405.
[2] Vladimir Putin, keynote address to the Economic Forum, June 5-6 2019. Putin went on to warn of “a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown.” This fragmenting of the global economic space “is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.”
[3] Address to St Petersburg International Economic Forum’s Plenary Session, St Petersburg, Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2009, from Johnson’s Russia List, June 8, 2009, #8,
[4] https://www.rt.com/business/464013-china-russia-cryptocurrency-dollar-dethrone/ . Already in the late 1950s the Forgash Plan proposed a World Bank for Economic Acceleration. Designed by Terence McCarthy and sponsored by Florida Senator Morris Forgash, the bank would have been a more truly development-oriented institution to guide foreign development to create balanced economies self-sufficient in food and other essentials. The proposal was opposed by U.S. interests on the ground that countries pursuing land reform tended to be anti-American. More to the point, they would have avoided trade and financial dependency on U.S. suppliers and banks, and hence on U.S. trade and financial sanctions to prevent them from following policies at odds with U.S. diplomatic demands.
[5] Don Weinland, “WTO rules against US in tariff dispute with China,” Financial Times, July 17, 2019.
https://xenagoguevicene.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/u-s-economic-warfare-and-likely-foreign-defenses-by-michael-hudson-%e2%80%a2-23-july-2019/
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WATCH: Senate Banking Committee conducts hearing on crypto regulation

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